Sex Register ‘To Include Email’

Sex offenders could be forced to register their e-mail addresses to prevent them approaching children on the internet, the government says. Home Secretary John Reid said he was also considering making paedophiles add their chatroom names to their other details on the Sex Offenders Register.

{mosimage}The move comes a day after three men were jailed for using a chatroom to plot the rape of two young girls. The announcement coincides with European Safer Internet Day. With as many as two-thirds of British teenagers now using social networking sites such as MySpace, many parents, teachers and politicians fear this opens up new dangers for children. The Safer Internet campaign will see websites and child safety experts discuss ways of safeguarding children from online threats.

The Sex Offenders Register contains the details of all those convicted of a sexual crime in England and Wales. Figures from the Home Office for 2005/06 showed there were nearly 30,000 registered sex offenders in England and Wales.

The 1997 Sex Offenders Act made it obligatory for people convicted of a range of sexual crimes to register with the police within 14 days of their release from prison, which was amended to 72 hours in 2003.