Criminals convicted of child sex crimes in the UK could soon have danger warnings stamped across their passports and driver’s licenses to prevent them from harming kids again. Labour MP Sarah Champion is working to close a legal loophole that prevents convicted pedophiles from being flagged by background checks simply by changing their names. If she succeeds, all registered sex offenders would have government ID documents stamped with “danger” labels that would make it impossible for them to escape detection.
The convicts would show up on DBS background checks regardless of their new name. Even if the offender had changed his or her name and submitted a new application under a different name, their previous offenses would still be flagged and brought to the attention of potential employers.
Too many pedophiles are given the opportunity to re-offend. Champion, who is a former shadow minister for abuse prevention, said that many offenders are finding ways around being held accountable for their crimes. “[Sex offenders] are slipping under the radar with devastating consequences. If the name-change process was joined up it would stop the sex offender from successfully receiving a DBS check.”
If passed, the new legislation would be called Della’s Law. This is after Della Wright, a child rape victim whose abuser had been allowed to change his name five times and continue to pursue employment involving children and vulnerable people. He was eventually convicted in 2017 and sentenced to 22 years in prison 40 years after he abused Wright at age six.
It’s way too easy to change your name right now. It costs only £42.44 ($58.93) and requires two witnesses to change your name. According to the Mirror, at least 900 convicted pedophiles have escaped police monitoring simply by doing this, even though these offenders are required by law to inform authorities if they change their names. Della’s Law could only be a good thing.
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