Each country has its own ideas for handling criminals released back into society after imprisonment—including different methods on how to keep a constant close eye on high risk offenders like those guilty of sex- and child-related crimes. In the United States many sex offenders are outfitted with a GPS tracked monitoring anklet as well as required to periodically check in (the number of times depending on the state) with an officer face to face. Other countries are following suit as more sex crimes come to light and suspects are arrested.
Britain’s Sex Offender Registries Just Not Enough Anymore?
Currently Britain has in place two registers to keep track of sex offenders. The first register (VISOR), used by all UK officers for both violent and sex-related crimes, lists not only criminals convicted of and released from prison but also individuals merely suspected with no prior charges against them. The second is for sex crimes only, and prison-released offenders are required to get in touch with neighboring police within 3 days of being let out to update their names, current address, birth date, and vehicle registration, among other info. Failure to do so will result in a fine and/or prison time of up to five years.
The registers are then used to warn professionals who work with children (school staff and faculty, sports teams, physicians, and adults in charge of living arrangements) of a sex criminal in the area.
Britain and Wales to Institute GPS Tracking for Sex Offenders
The change has come partly as the result of findings on a particularly outrageous example of neglect in following up on sexual abuse cases. A report published on British TV personality Jimmy Savile revealed that over a 54-year span of his life he molested or raped 450 known victims of all ages—during his time at the BBC, in various hospitals at which he volunteered, and various other locations where opportunity presented itself. The report speculated two reasons he was never caught: 1) his choosing of defenseless victims who were unlikely to report him and 2) the insufficiency of technological and investigative techniques of the times.