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

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 7 Jan 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.

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[Add a Comment]
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
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?
cheeky cheryl - 6-Apr-16 @ 10:43 AM
Rhett - Your Question:
My 14 year old daughter has recently started working in a local pub glass collecting. The landlord who is a 68 single man has been asking her to do stuff on his computer in his apartment. I Have concerns as he texts her with lots of kisses and he is always hugging her hold her hand and now she tells me he sucked her finger. This makes me feel quite sick. He gives her his tips and cooks for her all the time. As its my daughters 1st job and she likes being independant she worried that if I or she says anything to him she will lose her job. But I have fears that his conduct is inapropriate and hes grooming her. please can you give me advise of what to do? king regards.

Our Response:
A difficult situation for you and your daughter as she wants to keep her job, but this behaviour does sound inappropriate. We can't give you advice on how to handle someone who you think is grooming your child as it's not our area of expertise. Be assured that your daughter is aware of this and has told you. It might be worth seeking advice from an organisation like NSPCC or a teacher etc. She might find it useful for now, to tell him something along the lines of 'her teachers have told them they shouldn't be alone in a room with an employer where there are no customers etc' (It's not true but it might give him the message that she's on her guard) until you have made a decision on what to do next. Tell her also, that it's never wrong to say "no" to something she feels uncomfortable about.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Mar-16 @ 12:59 PM
My 14 year old daughter has recently started working in a local pub glass collecting. The landlord who is a 68 single man has been asking her to do stuff on his computer in his apartment. I Have concerns as he texts her with lots of kisses and he is always hugging her hold her hand and now she tells me he sucked her finger. This makes me feel quite sick. He gives her his tips and cooks for her all the time. As its my daughters 1st job and she likes being independant she worried that if i or she says anything to him she will lose her job. But i have fears that his conduct is inapropriate and hes grooming her. please can you give me advise of what to do?king regards.
Rhett - 28-Mar-16 @ 2:02 PM
I've just found out that Andrew Martindale is a sex offender, on the news stuff it puts him at McKenzie road yet I'm sure he lives on Twickenham drive, as I'm sure it is the father of girls I went to school with(same surname). Can you do anything about living so close to a sex offender when you have kids???
st123 - 24-Mar-16 @ 2:45 PM
How do l find out if my cousin is on sex offenders register in Scotland
no chance - 12-Mar-16 @ 8:13 AM
We have heard some information that one of our friends is a convicted peadophile.We need to try and find out if this is true.How do we go about this please
Linnet - 10-Mar-16 @ 2:03 PM
polly - Your Question:
Hi my friends new bf is a convicted sex offender. He served a jail sentance. He is now wrking for a local internet news group. With regular accsess to young people and children I am concerned and scared his employees havent been made aware of his history

Our Response:
Talk to the police if you are concerned about this, it may be that the type of offence, means that his employees need not know. Not all sex offences relate to young peopleor children.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Feb-16 @ 12:58 PM
Hi my friends new bf is a convicted sex offender. He served a jail sentance. He is now wrking for a local internet news group. With regular accsess to young people and children i am concerned and scared his employees havent been made aware of his history
polly - 23-Feb-16 @ 3:30 PM
I have been told that someone I know ex wife said he raped her but have been told that it was proven that she lied and he didn't , how do I find out if this is true ?
Ali - 8-Jan-16 @ 8:58 AM
Anna26 - Your Question:
Just found out at a court hearing that our neighbour is on sex offender register for rape on his girlfriend in Suffolk.I've lived above this person all,this time and only found out on new years eve he's disappear now gone to Milton,Keynes but as a vul enable woman Aith mental heath problems has made me scared and worried as he had my sister in his home and was a friend.what help can,I,get he has lft his home and went to family's.feel sick as become friends with him all this time till he got arrested we find this out.

Our Response:
Try not to make a rash judgement when you do not know all the facts. You could consider asking your local police for an opinion on the (if any) risks to neighbours.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jan-16 @ 2:26 PM
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