Dozens of sex offenders change their names - but police will not reveal their new identities
PUBLISHED: 06:45 22 June 2017
Dozens of rapists, paedophiles and other criminals on the sex offenders register have changed their names, but police will not reveal their new identities.
A freedom of information request found 64 people on the violent and sex offender register in Avon and Somerset told police they had changed their name by deed poll between 2011 and 2015.
More recently, 14 changed their identities in 2016 and seven have done the same already this year.
This could be to stop people discovering their crimes by searching for their names online, yet Avon and Somerset Constabulary cannot provide their new identities as it must protect their human rights.
As of February, there were 1,982 sex offenders registered with the force, most of which are adult men but nine are males under the age of 18 and 21 are female.
The new figures show 19 convicted sex offenders changed their name in 2015, 10 in 2014, nine in 2013, 18 in 2012 and eight in 2011. Of those offenders, 14 had been convicted of making indecent images of children, 14 are rapists, and 13 people had been convicted of indecent assault.
Other crimes include inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child under-16, sexual assault, incest, and exposure.
Under current rules, offenders must inform the police within three days if there are any changes in their name or address.
A spokesman from the force said it works ‘robustly’ to manage offenders who may pose a risk to the public.
They added: “The vast majority of registered sex offenders are compliant with their requirements and any breaches or potential breaches of these requirements are dealt with.”
They also said they are ‘committed’ to the Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme, and added: “This scheme allows parents, guardians or people working with children to enquire about whether a person who has access to children is a registered sex offender or poses a risk to that child.
“It’s designed solely to protect children from harm.
“We take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously and have recently increased the number of staff managing registered sex offenders. We will always ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect the public.”