POLICE SHIELD SEX OFFENDERS; EXCLUSIVE; Dangerous Deviants on the Run and You Can't Be Told Who They Are

Daily Mail (London), November 7, 2011 | Go to article overview

POLICE SHIELD SEX OFFENDERS; EXCLUSIVE; Dangerous Deviants on the Run and You Can't Be Told Who They Are


Byline: Andrew Picken and Geraldine McKelvie

ALMOST 30 dangerous Scots sex offenders, including rapists and paedophiles, are on the run - but police refuse to name them in case it breaches their 'human rights'.

Despite the threat to public safety, rules protecting the 'rights of the individual' prevent forces from identifying the absconders.

And although police chiefs have the power to override this policy, they rarely do so.

Hundreds of sex offenders have been released from jail since the SNP came to power in 2007, but despite promises to closely track them, dozens have slipped through the net. Latest figures show 29 are missing, with 23 believed to be abroad.

Some of the offenders have been at large for years and there is a high chance of them reoffending.

Critics last night hit out at the SNP's 'soft touch' justice system and called for the monitoring of sex offenders to be tightened up. Labour's justice spokesman Johann Lamont MSP said current management of sex offenders was 'simply not good enough'.

She added: 'To lose one sex offender is bad enough, but to lose track of 29 is highly alarming.

'The public must be protected from people who pose a risk, even once they leave jail.

'I am calling on the SNP to bring in a much tighter system of monitoring offenders so nobody slips through the net.'

In a rare exception, Strathclyde Police have chosen to name Rezgar Zengana, who cruelly posed as a private hire taxi driver in the Christmas party season before picking up a woman on the streets of Glasgow and raping her.

The Iraqi-born 27-year-old was found guilty of rape at the High Court in Glasgow in 2008 but was able to flee the country after being granted bail before being sentenced.

A total of eight sex offenders from Strathclyde are missing, with four presumed to be abroad. In Tayside, all seven missing sex criminals are presumed to be overseas, as is the case with six offenders in Central, one in Northern, one in Dumfries and Galloway and one in Fife Constabulary areas.

Police chiefs in the Lothian and Borders area say they have five missing sex offenders, with three presumed to be overseas. Only Grampian Police reports no missing offenders.

There are around 3,500 registered sex offenders in Scotland who police need to keep tabs on. Figures published by the Scottish Daily Mail recently show this includes around 36 people who police regard as 'very high risk' and likely to re-offend.

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