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

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 27 Jun 2018 |
 
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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Hi please help.We have a man right opposite us who just pleaded guilty to downloading child pornography.Also in chatrooms and exchanging pictures.2 the worst kind.There is a large green in front of their house where kids play and their house backs onto the local primary school.Even worse, his wife worked at the school for years and all the local children know her. She said at court she would support him n he got suspended sentence.We really concerned.Judge said he had interest in little girls.I have a daughter, can no longer let her play out as feels like he's watching. He has blinds wideopen and hangs about all day in his garage. We've got a meeting with police and school. We just want them to move from our street.They own their house so probably can't do anything.Any advice please.
Poppy - 7-May-18 @ 10:48 PM
My two sons have been sexually assaulted by their mother,both my sons behaviors have become destructive drink an drugs is their chosen vice,their mother have not been charged or even spoken to by the police, both my sibs have a half brother whim their very close to an they don't want to see him being hurt at the price of their own sanity ,
Laupzzzz - 5-May-18 @ 12:31 AM
A tiger you can see is no problem its the ones in the bushes you should worry about.
whatever - 30-Apr-18 @ 5:22 PM
What do I do when we have a neighbour lean over our hedge invading our privacy he's on the sex register list for life he sexually abused his own daughter for yrs from 2-14 yrs old iv approach him bout lean over our hedge an look thru our window I have a 15 yr old daughter I'm also concerned his wife has a friend visit wiv there 4 yr old grandson i no for certain this friend has no idea that this man went to prison for 5 yrs it's not right these people next door to me haven't told this woman as I do no they are not allowed to have children in the house unsupervised I think next time I see a young child go in to the house I will ring the police
Spanish - 1-Apr-18 @ 5:09 PM
Spanish - Your Question:
We have a man in his late 60s living very close he rape his daughter from 2 yrs old till she was 14yrs old he went to prison got 8 yrs but did 5 yrs will he b on sex offender list all his life! An is he allow to have children in there home! As I have seen another woman take her small grandson to visit! If I c this again should I phone the police! Also his wife knew what he was do to there daughter she admit that to the police 5 yrs ago! I am a concerned neighbour

Our Response:
You need to decide what to do about this yourself, we can't give advice on personal/individual issues like this.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Mar-18 @ 2:40 PM
We have a man in his late 60s living very close he rape his daughter from 2 yrs old till she was 14yrs old he went to prison got 8 yrs but did 5 yrs will he b on sex offender list all his life! An is he allow to have children in there home! As I have seen another woman take her small grandson to visit! If I c this again should I phone the police! Also his wife knew what he was do to there daughter she admit that to the police 5 yrs ago! I am a concerned neighbour
Spanish - 6-Mar-18 @ 6:26 PM
Filled in Sara's law but no response been told my police my now ex husband is aseriuous danger to our daughter but also his sin from his first marriage and any grand kids been told that recently on two occasions and they've been to speak to my daughter to ,he has sexually abused his two step daughters in the past but also been told its nothing to do with that its new stuff on him
Bailey - 5-Mar-18 @ 6:47 PM
How do I cope wiv a sex offender live next door he done 5 yrs in prison but I feel like I can't go in my garden in the summer as he's always out there in his shed an he also leans rite over the hedge cut it but looks straight in to my window I have a 14 yr old daughter he puts me on edge an gives me the creeps his wife is a very nasty person she looks down on us an walks around if she better than any one I wish they would move away out of shame mostly! As all the neighbours no what he did to his own daughter an his wife knew what he was doing! How on earth do they hold there heads up
Spanish - 4-Feb-18 @ 4:26 PM
My sister has special needs.i am her carer,but for the last year she has been seeing this man.He lives a good way from her.But recently I have my concerns that he is a peadaphile.Is there any way I can find this out.I don't want my sister going out with one of those.Hope you can help
Linny - 3-Jan-18 @ 1:01 PM
We have a married couple in our road an her husband rape there oldest daughter from the age of 2-14 yrs he got 8 yrs but only did 5 yrs they walk around as if they done nothing wrong the wife knew what he was doing to there daughter every one on the street no what they have done I would of thought out of shame they would move as they own there house on a council estate there children every where an schools would he b on the sex register for life an would he still get visits to check on him
Spanish - 7-Dec-17 @ 5:48 PM
My neighbour across the path from me is only 17. I was told by other neighbours he had previously tried to touch other children and his laptop had been took away. The boy has special needs slightly. So when i heard this i went to my local police station to be told i couldn't be told anything. Lately the cid have been coming to his house and last week he was took away by cid. Since then the police have been every day and cid also. I have a 2 year old daughter and am very concerned!
Smc - 13-Nov-17 @ 10:11 AM
There's a guy who stays across the road from us, he's been over and stood right outside my bedroom window a couple of times per week on average since he and his (much) younger partner moved in last year. I've occasionally come home late in summer and have the blinds angled so that only someone right outside can see in but if the blinds are shut, the room is too stuffy. He's been seen by other neighbours staying on that side as well as by my neighbours on this side yet the police have so far failed to do anything, yet when he filmed a vulnerable woman who stays next door to him on his side, and subjected her to a physical assault, she was the one the police took away for questioning as the peeper had accused her of calling him the C word, so he carries on peeping and the poor soul who was driven to swear at the pervert was fined for a section 5 public order offence! Fortunately, although the address is where he stays, he has another wife further away so he's only around here at a weekend, but what can be done about it? Hi tenure is leasehold and the freeholder has considered increasing the ground rent to ease the problem away, but that probably won't bother him as he's already carried out illegal building work to the house and gets away with this too! Anyone in or near Ellington, by Morpeth, who can help with this please get in touch, any female is at risk from this old deviant.
Big Hev - 15-Oct-17 @ 3:12 PM
buster - Your Question:
I have just moved into a property and my next door neighbour who is male in his late 50s keeps commenting on my daughters school uniform saying she should wear tights. He also comes out of his property in the mornings when children walking to school he only targets girls commenting on what they are wearing he is well known for chasing kids with his walking stick do you think I should be concerned

Our Response:
We don't know whether you should be concerned or not...are you? If you are, you could try speaking with your local PCSO or calling 101.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Oct-17 @ 2:54 PM
I have just moved into a property and my next door neighbour who is male in his late 50s keeps commenting on my daughters school uniform saying she should wear tights . He also comes out of his property in the mornings when children walking to school he only targets girls commenting on what they are wearing he is well known for chasing kids with his walking stick do you think I should be concerned
buster - 12-Oct-17 @ 7:11 PM
My 46 year old neighbour has pled guilty to downloading indecent images of children being abused over 5300 images , our street is full of kids I'm right next door with a 3&6 year, he is awaiting sentence surely he should not be allowed in a street full of k8ds
Marty - 8-Oct-17 @ 5:14 PM
Reetpetit - Your Question:
At the moment there are at least 8 cars parked in my neighbours garden. He has a Large vehicle workshop at the bottom and there are 4 men discussing businessplans regarding doing cars up and selling them. None of these gentlemen is the owner of the house. We have engine noise and fumes drifting into our garden making I uncomfortable to sit out. What rights do I have and where do I need to report to?

Our Response:
Report this to you local council's planning department. It's likely that this operation is contravening planning laws.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Aug-17 @ 9:55 AM
At the moment there are at least 8 cars parked in my neighbours garden.He has a Large vehicle workshop at the bottom and there are 4 men discussing businessplans regarding doing cars up and selling them. None of these gentlemen is the owner of the house.We have engine noise and fumes drifting into our garden making I uncomfortable to sit out.What rights do I have and where do I need to report to?
Reetpetit - 31-Jul-17 @ 4:20 PM
My neighbour across the road keeps making and losing friends with people with young female children. I know their son has beenin trouble with the police and the Apple never falls far from the tree as he's married to someone very much younger than him. I know some of the children and I'm very concerned but I don't want to start rumours.
Worried woman - 21-Jul-17 @ 4:34 PM
Next door have a handy man that comes in occasionally to do bits and bobs in their garden as they're pensioners. His very odd looking and speaking too, I just got a strange feeling from him when introduced. He must live very local as he is forever walking up and down my street, the thing that worries me is he is always looking in my lounge window. My daughter is only two and I'm probably overreacting but he appears sinister and like I said we will be playing in the lounge and I will spot him about four times a week staring into my lounge window as he goes to the shops and then again on the way back too, but I notice he doesn't look in other houses his head is always faced forward till he gets to my house. My child isn't noisy so it's not like that's why his looking that way by distraction. I called the local police station to see if they had a link for names and pictures of peadophiles in the area to be safe and they said there was no such thing. I'm starting to feel very worried about him, I wanted to go out one day as he did it four times in a row but my husband wouldn't let me. What can I do??? He looks so weird and creepy and I just know this guy is sinister but just not sure how to prove it!
Concerned parent - 11-Jul-17 @ 11:41 AM
Concerned mother- Your Question:
Our neighbour in his 60's, who is married, keeps looking into my daughters bedroom. He knew she was having a shower (we were in the back garden whilst he was and I was saying to her she needed to take a shower and the shower has a pump which is loud) the other day and got changed in her bedroom after. The neighbour was outside doing his garden at 8pm at night looking in. I am worried by this as does not seem normal behaviour and has been a bit of a peeping tom. I am worried to ask the police as I do not want them thinking I am a paranoid mother but his behaviour is far from normal.

Our Response:
We can't really comment as this has to be your judgement as a parent. He may have simply glanced up rather than gone out of his way to watch.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jun-17 @ 2:34 PM
Our neighbour in his 60's, who is married, keeps looking into my daughters bedroom.He knew she was having a shower (we were in the back garden whilst he was and I was saying to her she needed to take a shower and the shower has a pump which is loud) the other day and got changed in her bedroom after.The neighbour was outside doing his garden at 8pm at night looking in.I am worried by this as does not seem normal behaviour and has been a bit of a peeping tom.I am worried to ask the police as I do not want them thinking I am a paranoid mother but his behaviour is far from normal.
Concerned mother - 16-Jun-17 @ 1:32 PM
Spanish - Your Question:
What do I need to do when I have a registered sex offender as a neighbor as I saw a freind of there go in there the other evening wiv a little boy age around 4 yrs old would he have to b supervised!

Our Response:
Ask your local police about this if you're really worried. If you know about this, then it's likely the friend will also be aware already.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jun-17 @ 9:13 AM
What do I need to do when I have a registered sex offender as a neighbor as I saw a freind of there go in there the other evening wiv a little boy age around 4 yrs old would he have to b supervised!
Spanish - 3-Jun-17 @ 7:54 AM
Kazza76 - Your Question:
How can I find out if someone my daughter was living with is a registered sex offender?

Our Response:
You can try contacting your local police force and asking them for disclosure under the Child Sex Offender Disclosure scheme
ProblemNeighbours - 25-May-17 @ 12:35 PM
How can i find out if someone my daughter was living with is a registered sex offender?
Kazza76 - 23-May-17 @ 4:19 PM
This couple should not b living on this street he has a young family living nxt door an there children play in the garden he looks out of his upstairs window I do have concerns he raped his own daughter yrs ago he got 8 yrs did 5 yrs him an his wife walk round as if there too gd for people around here it's wrong he should b living somewhere else wiv no children around
Spanish - 19-Apr-17 @ 7:38 PM
My neighbour use to help me out if I was short for gas or electric and use to lend me the money until I got paid. Which would be a couple of days or so, he always had his money back on time exactly when I'd say I would as thought we where friends, wouldn't be a large amount the most was £11.00 and only borrowed 4 times in 2 years when ive been really stuck. I have no family or anyone as all died and on my own. I'm 46 years old and is not a well person struggling with my chest, and a lot of stress I've carried for the last 15 years with losing all my family & my partner due to illness and been left totally on my own isolated and stressed. Only till today my neighbour text and said any more favours off me I want something back. He text for sexual favours if I want any more help. Its my neighbour, what do I do he knows Im on my own. He seems to think this is normal behaviour, I've helped my neighbour by doing some of his shopping....To me this is a normal favour... His actions seems live a perv, but he seems to think this is normal behaviour... I'm in a block of flats with his door right opposite mine..never felt so uncomfortable in my life in my own home..... :(
NotHappy71 - 14-Apr-17 @ 12:53 AM
I have a register sex offender on my street why are they allowed to live oposite a park
true - 12-Apr-17 @ 9:05 PM
Shiv - Your Question:
There is a man 2 doors from me and I have 2 kids and my neighbour has a 1 year old and there are other families on our estate. he's got a 12 month suspended sentence for making and possessing 100 images of children. is there a certain distance he has to be away from us and the preschool nursery whizh is across the road from us?

Our Response:
No. The police will be aware of this and will have some form of monitoring. If you want to contact them on 101 then they may give you some reassurance. You could also contact an organisation like Circles for more information.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Apr-17 @ 11:04 AM
There is a man 2 doors from me and I have 2 kids and my neighbour has a 1 year old and there are other families on our estate... he's got a 12 month suspended sentence for making and possessing 100 images of children... is there a certain distance he has to be away from us and the preschool nursery whizh is across the road from us?
Shiv - 31-Mar-17 @ 10:57 PM
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