Home > Ask Our Experts > How Do I Find Out if Neighbour is a Sex Offender?

How Do I Find Out if Neighbour is a Sex Offender?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 17 Mar 2017 |
 
Sex Offender Register Neighbour Child

Q.

We have recently moved into a new area and have been told on two occasions that there is a child offender living in our street.

This is worrying enough, but the person we believe they are referring to has made several comments to us when we have been with our children. These have been quite innocent, but if this person is a child offender then the whole context changes!

We do not want to offend this person in case he isn't a child offender, but on the other hand, if he is, then I wouldn't let him within 100 yards of my children. For the safety of my children is there anyway I can find out if this person is a child offender?

(N.S, 27 February 2009)

A.

I can understand your concerns, and it’s only natural that you’re worried about your children’s safety. You haven’t mentioned who has told you this, but that it has come from two different sources. It may still just be idle gossip but your worry that a sex offender is living in your area is understandable.

Sarah’s Law

In 2000, the government was considering whether to allow the public access to the sex offenders’ register. It is called “Sarah’s Law” (after Sarah Payne, who was killed by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000.) In 2010, the government piloted schemes across the country that were intended to allow mothers to find out whether their partners, or someone with whom their children had close contact, were sex offenders. This scheme was rolled out nationwide in 2011 and since then it has protected hundreds of children from potential harm.

However, given the circumstances you have described, have you considered telephoning the police, or going to a police station, to tell them about your concerns? They have a duty to investigate your complaint.

Talking to The Police

If this individual has made comments to you about your children, or has been seen acting suspiciously, then it is obviously necessary to report this activity to the police; not only for the sake of your children, but also for other children living nearby. However, it could be the case that someone in your neighbourhood has deliberately, or inadvertently, started a rumour about this person – and rumours of this nature spread like wildfire.

Who Goes on the Sex Offenders' Register

Remember that what constitutes ‘sex offender’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘paedophile’. A wide variety of people are placed on the Sex Offenders' Register every year, after receiving a caution or being convicted of an offence. This could be, for example, a man who received a caution for having smacked a girl on the buttocks while she was passing him on the street, a 22-year-old female teacher who had sexual intercourse with her 15-year-old student, or at the very serious end of the scale, someone like Roy Whiting, who killed Sarah Payne.

Similarly, sex offenders are on the Sex Offenders' Register for differing lengths of time, depending on the type of offence:

  • A jail term of 30 months to life = remain on the register indefinitely (this is normally for life.)
  • A jail term of 6 to 30 months = registration for 10 years
  • A sentence of less than 6 months = on the register for 7 years
  • A community order sentence = on the register for 5 years
  • A caution issued = on the register for 2 years
  • With the exception of prison sentences of 30 months or more, minors (offenders under the age of 18) will have their registration period halved.

The Police Response

The police have all this information in their databases, and know where each Sex Offender lives. (If a sex offender fails to register, or fails to report a change of address, he or she could go to prison for up to five years.) If you are worried you should contact the police and apply under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme for information regarding the specific person you are concerned about.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
AD - Your Question:
I'm having concerns about our neighbours. I feel uneasy about letting our children play in the garden as it's overlooked by the neighbours who I concerns about. I wish I could find out if my concerns are justified simply to be able to make a decision about whether or not to move house. I have no wish to make accusations or cause harm to anyone who has convinctions genuinely trying to address their issue, but it's hard not to feel relaxed in my own home in case someone is looking at or pointing a camera in the direction of our children.

Our Response:
If your concerns are really genuine surely you would report this to the police. You haven't given any information about what your grounds are for this uneasiness or what you think the neighbour might be doing, so it's difficult for us to offer any advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Mar-17 @ 12:43 PM
I'm having concerns about our neighbours. I feel uneasy about letting our children play in the garden as it's overlooked by the neighbours who I concerns about. I wish I could find out if my concerns are justified simply to be able to make a decision about whether or not to move house. I have no wish to make accusations or cause harm to anyone who has convinctionsgenuinely trying to address their issue, but it's hard not to feel relaxed in my own home in case someone is looking at or pointing a camera in the direction of our children.
AD - 10-Mar-17 @ 3:14 PM
Myneighbour was convicted for 13 years for molesting his 8 year granddaughter in deanshanger and serving his sentence in Doncasterhmp
Worm - 7-Feb-17 @ 7:19 PM
I cannot approach his wife as when he was arrested we was informed by police that she knew what he was doing to there daughter an she told him it has to stop! In my veiw she is worst than him no what he was doing to there own child! She stuck by him while he was in prison an put him first before her other children an grandchildren she cannot c her grandchildren coz she decided to stand by her husband! So no I cannot approach her it sickens me that they lives there lives as if noth has happened sickening
Spanish - 31-Jan-17 @ 7:14 PM
Spanish - It depends on what his SHPO says, if you're concerned have a word with your local SOMU (Sex Offender Manager Unit).Whilst they may not be able to divulge much (data protection act), they are very quick to act on concerns. There is another group called MAPA (Multi Agency Public Protection) - It might also be worth raising your concerns with the probation office. BUT your first point of call should be to google for your local SOMU. If he's looking at them there's not much you can do HOWEVER keep an eye on him? Does he use a camera? Does he have a phone near by? I have been open and honest about my conviction with close friends and family. However I remain determined to obey my SHPO. Have you tried speaking to his wife about his behaviour.
foreversorry - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:21 AM
This man on our street should not b living here our estate has a lot of children he sits at his window watch children walk past his wife knew what he did yrs ago to there own child! She looks down at neighbors what she an her husband have done they have no rites! He raped his own daughter he should not b living in this road
Spanish - 30-Jan-17 @ 5:12 PM
Spanish - He will have an order stating that he cannot be around people of a certain age unless their Parent and Guardian have been contacted by police / social services. The parent / guardian have to then be interviewed to make sure they're capable of assessing the risk. If they have proven this then they are allowed contact. ANY attempt to speak to or contact a child is seen as a breach and is subject to arrest and possibily up to 5 years in prison.
foreversorry - 28-Jan-17 @ 5:10 PM
In answer to the work question. I am under NO obligation to tell my new employer unless they ask. However I HAVE to inform my Offender manager any employment I take up. If I dont I could be subject to arrest, if you do have any concerns then you can ring up ans speak to SOMU, contact your local police station to ask to speak to SOMU (Sex Offender Management Unit). THERE IS a clause in the SHPO that means you CAN be banned from taking up ANY job that involves working with people. This depends on the Clause in the SHPO. If you have any concerns ask for a copy of his SHPO, if the person is truly honest they'll give you a copy!! The hardest part is the isolation, i've tried suicide, self harm. but i'm getting there slowly
foreversorry - 28-Jan-17 @ 5:07 PM
Hi, I've just seen this and i'm a registered sex offender I downloaded 57 images. This is how it works from the inside (at least for this crime). 1 - I signed onto the sex offenders register this means that I have to: a - notify the police if I spend more than 13 hours in the same place as someone under a specific age group. This can be anything, but normally 16 OR 18 b - give name, NI number, bank details, debit card details, c - notify them 7 days before I stay somewhere OR before go abroad (if allowed - I am) The "register" is actually just a minimal, you are given (by the court) a SHPO (sexual harm prevention order). This is the main restrictions. This can be ANYTHING that helps minimise the risk. For example mine states I have to have all internet access monitored, and as a safeguard I have who I can mix with restricted. I see probation weekly who go through how I offended and work with me to minimise this (drinking heavilly, missusing medication, isolation, depression, suicidal thoughts).. I also have a Police Offender Manager (POM) who monitors me. This person has powers to: Enter my house and inspect my computer Search for any hard drive or any device capable of storing images Ultimately arrest me ANY breach of SHPO comes with 5 years deterrent. My offence falls below the threshold but you can also be sent on a SOTP/ISOTP These are sex offender treatment program and Internet sex offender treatment program. This is a group therapy ran (in part) by Lucy Faithful. I hope this goes in some way to calm any concerns. However please feel free to reply. I will answer (sensible) questions as best I can / know.
foreversorry - 28-Jan-17 @ 5:00 PM
We have a man a few doors up who raped his daughter from the age of 2 yrs old yrs later he was sentenced for several yrs only done 5 yrs an his wife knew what he was doing to there child! Us neighbors are concerned for our own children an grandchildren are they at risk! He walks around as if he hasent done nothing wrong
Spanish - 23-Jan-17 @ 7:39 PM
I've heard a story about this person and want to know for sure because he has started geting freindly with a freind of mine who has children he's from Airdrie
Scot - 7-Jan-17 @ 9:15 PM
don't no of what to make of this but I was browsing the internet and popped up was a message saying that a sex offender has just moved into my area ,thought this might br true because there is a couple just moved into a house next to me I am concerned because of my grand children when they come to staycan anyone tell me if this could have been genuine or not ,thank you
dutchess58 - 12-Dec-16 @ 10:25 AM
My mum was abused along with 7 other young children by guy (from oxford) who was found guilty and sentanced to 16 years back in 1994. I have today been working in a village near milton keynes called mursley and have spotted the same guy......I asked around and was told he lives in the village, definately the same man. Obviously I never let on anything, just flabbergasted that he lives so close to a pre school......what should I do.
Jboy - 15-Nov-16 @ 12:30 PM
i live in a council estate neighbours put cctv up pointing to estate,every time im out woman in window watching me
wartior5227 - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:40 PM
Legsab - Your Question:
I recently found out a relative was told by a judge that they were not to be left alone with children, and some other stuff but I don't know what the other stuff was, how do I find out? I don't go to hers anymore but don't know if I'm jumping the gun in cutting her off but obviously putting my children first. How do I find out what the order was???

Our Response:
Why not ask her? If you're present while the children are there, they can't come to any harm and you are not cutting her off.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:10 AM
I recently found out a relative was told by a judge that they were not to be left alone with children, and some other stuff but I don't know what the other stuff was, how do I find out? I don't go to hers anymore but don't know if I'm jumping the gun in cutting her off but obviously putting my children first. How do I find out what the order was???
Legsab - 5-Nov-16 @ 2:37 AM
I think my friend is seeing someone on the sex offenders register but don't know if it's for rape or if he's a pedophile how would she find out?
Zo - 24-Oct-16 @ 5:52 PM
I've lived in my area for over 4 years just got a new neighbour and she told me there is a convicted peodophile on the street how do I find out if he is I live in a area where there is a park and loads of kids and he's been spotted running round near the park with just his boxers I a worried mother of a 4 year old girl I see this guy everyday he makes me feel sick to no what he might be where do I go to try and get rid of him
Gayle - 2-Oct-16 @ 11:11 AM
im wondering if there a contact number to local people that i can find out if there a sex offender in my street i want to keep my kids safe and others there loads around i was moved because off one who now is in prision
s.leather - 17-Jun-16 @ 7:50 PM
I don't think it is always right to judge the men because sometimes females are involved sad as it is and sometimes even letting it happen or not believing that things are going on under there nose. My sister was getting abused in care for years and eventually hung herself and not 1 person was prosecuted or anything.It was a long time ago but still my mum couldn't do anything about it. People are bad judge of characters these days. My sis had adhd and wasn't diagnosed back then and they accused my mum of abusing her. Shewas just hard work and hurt herself sometimes but the people who was supose to safegsafeguard her. Sexually abused her. I'll never trust social services round my kids.Female or not. They is some sick folk out there
geeta - 1-Jun-16 @ 1:22 AM
My ex best friend was dating a guy who had been convicted of indecent pictures of children. She didn't tell me for years and when I did find out she believed that he accidentally downloaded them!!His father had been convicted too in the past. I could never understand as a mum why she would even risk him round her 3 kids. It makes me wonder if she was a scumbag too. Sounds harsh but what mum trusts a piece of crap like that?,
geeta - 1-Jun-16 @ 1:03 AM
My neighbour as just come out of jail being convicted of child images he has a young child would he be allowed back home to live immediately
bee - 31-May-16 @ 9:55 PM
I've been told by a lot of people that my neighbour is on the sex offenders register how do I find out as I have my grandkids at my house all the time and I'm a bit concerned
Lucky - 31-May-16 @ 5:39 PM
My 14 year old daughter is scared to play out because 1 of our neighbours keeps watching her from his bedroom, I have seen him for myself but he goes when he sees me. Should I confront him or speak to the police?
Concerned Dad - 30-May-16 @ 8:23 PM
please help... - Your Question:
I have two very young children aged 4 and 2 whigh are on a child protection register due to DV in a previous relationship, I moved me and my children away from that situation, at my new home there's a neighbour that keep coming round, always asking to take the children to the shop ect, which I say no to. Recently I have heard he may be a sex offender. Since then I have egnored the door to him but he doesn't seem stop knocking. My social worker as a took a really big disliking to me and I am scared that If I ask for information about the neighbour the social worker will take me to court for my children. Would I be able to do anominous call to find out or do they need my details?

Our Response:
Nobody will give details to anonymous request. The police do not divulge information on neighbours unless they have direct input in the lives of a child etc
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Apr-16 @ 11:35 AM
I have two very young children aged 4 and 2 whigh are on a child protection register due to DV in a previous relationship,I moved me and my children away from that situation, at my new home there's a neighbour that keep coming round,always asking to take the children to the shop ect, which I say no to. Recently I have heard he may be a sex offender. Since then I have egnored the door to him but he doesn't seem stop knocking. My social worker as a took a really big disliking to me and I am scared that If I ask for information about the neighbour the social worker will take me to court for my children. Would I be able to do anominous call to find out or do they need my details?
please help... - 19-Apr-16 @ 10:46 PM
ProblemNeighbours I posted a question on the 6 April and you posted Our Response on the 7 April but there is nothing there, you havent posted a reply even though it says you have replied!
cheeky cheryl - 11-Apr-16 @ 2:24 PM
Why is that a sex offender, when released from prison, can have contact with his grandchildren by himself, after having served 18 months with a four year sentence
Scotty - 10-Apr-16 @ 3:13 PM
So can I find out if my neighbour is an offender; I really don't like the way he looks at my children, really gives me the creeps
Jaxs - 8-Apr-16 @ 8:25 PM
cheeky cheryl - Your Question:
Our neighbour was convicted of a child sex offence and was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment last year, he was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely. We were shocked as we had no idea about him! We live a few minutes away from a primary school and Im concerned to know if he will be allowed to return to his address when he is released?

Our Response:
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Apr-16 @ 11:23 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProblemNeighbours website. Please read our Disclaimer.