United Kingdom Home Secretary proposes paedophile law

Monday, June 19, 2006

British Home Secretary John Reid has met criticism from several quarters for his suggestion that the UK should adopt a law allowing the public naming of known paedophiles.

The United States has legislation known as 'Megan's Law' which Reid has suggested should be adopted. Such a law would allow concerned parents to access information regarding paedophiles in their area. Gerry Sutcliffe, a Home Office Minister, has been sent to the US to investigate whether a similar system could be introduced.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a statement on comments Reid made over the weekend, "the important thing and the difficult thing in this is to get the balance right between, on the one hand, protecting the public and giving the public as much information as possible, and on the other making sure that you don't have vigilantes".

The spokesman denied that there were immediate plans to adopt Megan's Law, "What's important is that Gerry Sutcliffe goes to the US and looks at how they do things there. We are not planning immediately to import US laws but we do need to consider how these operate".