Jersey sex offenders register moves closer

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image captionDet Insp Langford said police were assessing if sex offenders were likely to reoffend

Jersey's long-awaited sex offenders law could come into force within two months, it has been revealed.

Politicians voted in favour of the legislation, which paves the way for a sex offenders register, more than a year ago.

It will require known offenders to notify police of their address and any plans to leave the island.

Former police from Scotland are now in Jersey to question them, and will recommend who should go on the list.

Det Insp Steve Langford, from Jersey Police, has described the new law as "imminent".

Senator Ian Le Marquand, the home affairs minister, said: "The courts are now working towards the law coming into force on 1 January 2011, but I cannot yet be sure of that date."

States members unanimously agreed to adopt the law in October 2009, but it is still to be finalised.

'Reassure the public'

Det Insp Langford said: "The purpose of meeting the offenders, purely on a voluntary basis until the legal framework is in place, is to assess if there's any risk of reconviction or reoffending.

"The officers who've travelled over from Strathclyde are working with us on a short-term basis.

"The point and the focus of the work we're trying to do is to reassure the public that we are aware of the concern with regard to child protection issues.

"We'll be looking with the imminent arrival of the sex offenders legislation... whether any of these offenders are suitable to go on the register."

Senator Le Marquand said: "There will need to be further rules put in place before the Royal Court can start to deal with past offenders and so the full system may not be operational until later next year."

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