Eleven registered Northamptonshire sex offenders are missing...but police won't say who they are
Northamptonshire Police don't know the whereabouts of 11 registered sex offenders - but have declined to reveal their identities.
Officers say the missing 11, some of whom have been convicted of horrific crimes including rape and sexual activity with a child, are all abroad and are flagged as wanted.
Being on the register for sex offenders means they are forced to provide details each year including their name and aliases, address and bank details so they can be properly monitored. They must also notify police of any travel plans and changes to their details. Police have lost track of their exact location meaning they are not being properly monitored.
After finding out that the whereabouts of 11 registered sex offenders were unknown under Freedom of Information laws, this newspaper asked Northamptonshire Police to release their names, last known addresses and custody images to help try and track them down. A police spokesman said they would not release the information because it could cause distress to the victims and because of concerns about reprisals the sex offenders' families could face.
Dawn Thomas, chief executive officer of Northamptonshire Rape Crisis, said: “Northamptonshire Rape Crisis is concerned by this news. Sexual offences, against children or adults, are serious, traumatic crimes that can have long-term, even lifelong, and wide-ranging impacts on those subjected to them.
"Sexual offenders should be managed and monitored with a robustness that fits the seriousness of their crimes. We shouldn’t forget that the majority of offenders are never even convicted and losing track of those who have been registered adds to the number potentially free to commit offences against more children and adults.
"Regardless of where they live, the general public deserve and expect some protection from known sexual offenders.”
The missing 11 are on the register for crimes including: rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, indecent exposure and inciting prostitution.
Nine of the offenders' offences took place in England with one in Poland and one in Romania.
Failing to meet the sex offence notification requirements is a crime in itself. The missing 11, if arrested, could face up to five years in prison.
A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “All 11 registered sex offenders with their whereabouts recorded as unknown are not currently in the United Kingdom.
“Two of these offenders were convicted in their absence and all 11 have notices registered with Interpol.
“We are working with law enforcement agencies abroad to locate them and all 11 are flagged as wanted on the Police National Computer, which means they would be arrested at the border if they ever returned to the UK.”
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said: "Any registered sex offenders who are in breach of their monitoring requirements need to be apprehended as soon as possible and their whereabouts established.
"I am sure Northamptonshire Police are doing all they can to find them."
Information about those with a record of child sex offending can also be disclosed to parents, carers and guardians under a child sex offender disclosure scheme know as Sarah's Law.
Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was abducted and killed in 2000 by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting, previously said: “It’s completely unacceptable that any registered sex offenders have disappeared from authority management, putting the public at risk."
The NSPCC declined to comment and the Home Office said it was a matter for Northamptonshire Police.