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Are The Public Against Sarah’s Law? 18 June 2006

Posted by David in Uncategorized.

It is interesting to see the government seriously looking at Sarah's Law – Home Officebased on the controversial American Megan's Law – whereby parents would be able to know if released child abusers were in a certain area, and indeed often who they actually are. It is the first non-disaster or scandal story from the Home Office in many months, and we are all entitled to be fairly cynical as this has taken six years of campaigning by Sarah Payne's family after her tragic murder. There has also been a lot of news coverage regarding soft sentences and this is no doubt a reason for suddenly discovering this.

I am however surprised by the amount of negative comments from the public. A quick glance at the BBC Have Your Say reveals many concerned about vigilante attacks – obviously having so much trust in their fellow people – and that other professionals with 'paedo' in the title will be wrongfully feared. Whilst attacks could well be a problem, it's very unlikely even this government would accidentally put paediatricians on the list. Surely we want to know if our neighbours or friends have this flaw that can only be described as sick and morally bankrupt?

By far the largest amount of opinion is however pure cynicism. The failure of this government in particular, and the last years of the Major era too I am sad to say, have completely destroyed public confidence in the government, rule of law, and the country as a whole. This can only be a bad thing.

I can see that there would be problems with the law, although if these child abusers are to be released it is very much our right to know who and where they are. Obviously it's not fail safe, as they could leave an area, and most abuse is by a family member, but you'd certainly think twice about letting kids play outside if there was a neighbour listed. This sort of crime is not something that the perpetrator can "pay their dues to society for" – there simply aren't any amount of dues large enough. Victims don't get second chances.

I would however rather have a situation where these people were not released at all, or at the very least tagged and very heavily watched with a zero tolerance approach.


1. anon - 11 July 2006

i think it is a very good idea as sarah law would let you know where them horrible vile bastards are so we can keep our kids safe and also make them be tagged aswell 24 hours per day 360 days per year for life

2. annon - 21 August 2006

hello! i have no children, however i have many youg cousins and my sister has just had her first child! i think the goverment should start choosing who’s side there realy on! it seems people who go against all the rules break the law get everything! i can not understand how they are protecting these vile people (i would say animals but thats disrespecting animals) i think we should know where they are!! the goverment could have saved so many children’s life but they decide to turn thier heads and let these vile dirty crimminals back into our society! i’m sorry but i’ll never ever give anyone another chance who’s killed, especially a child! they don’t change they never will! they take a life and never ever get the due time they deserve, they should not be aloud human rights, they lost there human rights as soon as they took someones life!! they should not have a life!! life never means life any more!! i hate our community that were in! you keep putting our prices up and using the money to give these monsters a life, get it into your head there not human there monsters and should not be given anything let them work, tell us where they are or just send our children in to thye fire line!! things have to change!! i just hope your child never gets killed by a sick calculated pervert! i lost my brother at a very youg age and that was through natural courses (cot death) that was hard enough but for a vile person to take someone who love dearly breaks your heart!! my love go’s to all the family of murderd children/adults hopefully they’ll be more of us who speak up and get these vile people at least known in society thank-you

3. annon - 21 August 2006

i think sarahs law will be great, it should be brought into our laws, i don’t think these vile people should ever have a normal life, they lost any dignity when they decided to murder an innocent being, to be honest i think anyone who kills they should be killed life for a life, my heart go’s to the familys, you don’t realise how it feels to be let down from a very great source, now i do, the goverment has let everyone of us down they realy are not right and whos side are they on? people who keep to the law and bring the money in or the vile being who takes someones life, stay in prison for along holiday and then comes out and take someone elses life when does it stop? realy when?

4. GARY LEESE - 13 September 2006



5. Ruth - 13 September 2006

Sarahs Law will make paedophiles go underground even further. We have to remember that these people are very clever, and have big networks all over the world. That means people that will hide them, help them change their identities, then Sarahs Law means nothing at all. Certainly I think they should be tagged and sensible precautions taken, like not allowing these people to live near schools and places where children play. I also think that these people should be listened to – there are paedophiles who don’t like what they have done but feel that they will offend again – these should NOT be released. I am extremely sceptical about rehabilitation, but I believe under very close supervision it should be tried, particularly in cases where the paedophile is showing genuine remorse. Combined with tagging it would be a better option.
I would also point out that there was a woman who was on the sex offenders register, and got persecuted and tormented in her own home, and eventually commited suicide. On her suicide it was revealed that she was on the sex offenders register for showing her breasts to a fifteen year old boy, many years previously. It seems sad that she had to die for an offence which; although undoubtably wrong, is a whole lot less bad than that of the Sarah Payne murderer.

6. JOANNE DICKSON - 22 October 2006


7. no name - 12 November 2006

Sarah’s Law is yobs law, look at the news of the world they are an evil paper with an evil attitude.

I say lock up Stuart kuttner.

8. blogger - 4 December 2006

The latest I hear is that the government are still considering the law, and a report will soon be published by them. Personally, I think you have the right to know if a paedophile lives near your children or their school. They are beyond the pale, completely sick in the head beyond redemption, and the rights of children are more important than theirs. That said, I’d rather lock them up for life and then we wouldn’t need a sarah’s law because they wouldn’t be free.

9. NO Name - 19 January 2007

Sarah’s law is Part of the news of the world hate campaign.

The news of the world is full of sex, Andy Coulson has lost control look at Clive Goodman Arrested for phone tapping.

Rebeka Wade was also arrested for beating up her husband Ross Kemp.

The sun and the News of the world readers are yobs any way, It is a mob law.

The Times and gurdian have the right Idea, People have already Attacked a sex offender at his it happend in 2007, You cannot be trusted with law like that.

Can you prove it is not a hate campaign.

10. No name - 19 January 2007

No way Sarah’s Law is a hate campaign, The News of the World is a yobs paper, thickos read that rubbish, I would never read paper full of sex.

I can see Sarah’s Law doomed to fail.

What will happen is this, people will be to frigtend to work with children in case they are accused of somthing, Paranoia will sweep through like a plague, your kids will become prisoners is that you want.

This may also affect youth groups people will become to frigtend to work with kids.

One day you are walking home a boy or girl gets run over, Some body nows First aid, will they help no beacuse they will be to nervouse to help them, why? Because of Sarah’s Law.

It is bad idea, Baby siters would not want to look after your kids becaues they might be accused of somthing, where will that leave you no wants to risk it.

If you get Sarah’s Law good look to you, it will be the end of your kids freedom.

It will be sarah’s paynes moms fault.

One more thing say we have Sarah’s Law, A kid gets killed by an offender whos fault is it going be, you new about him/her living in your area, you will blame the police why? you new about him, you will blame the News of the world why? you new about him.

I can go on, but’s whats the point.

11. Joe - 23 January 2007

No Name- we are not talking about ordinary criminals here, we are talking about people who the rest of society need to be aware of. I admit there are a wide range of issues that need to be dealt with in passing a law like this, but on the whole the concern is geuine.
There are fewer greater evils our society faces.

12. The Bicycling Chameleon - 7 February 2007

No Name, so what if Sarah’s Law is a hate campaign? It is a campaign against people who are a danger to our children, what isn’t there about these sort of people to hate? Personally I think they should never be released, so we wouldn’t need Sarah’s Law in the first place. There should however be a review of what puts people on the Offenders Register, as the case of the 15 year old boy being shown breasts is far less serious than assault or abuse. Maybe different classes of offense, like with drugs (Class A, B, C etc).

“What will happen is this, people will be to frigtend to work with children in case they are accused of somthing, Paranoia will sweep through like a plague, your kids will become prisoners is that you want.”
No it won’t. Sarah’s Law is about those convicted of an offence. It has no impact on people being accused or found guilty of offences, as the law is not about that. Sarah’s Law only creates a public list of sex offenders. It does not make prosecution easier.

“This may also affect youth groups people will become to frigtend to work with kids.”
As I have said, no it won’t, no more than already. It does not affect prosecution, only release.

“One day you are walking home a boy or girl gets run over, Some body nows First aid, will they help no beacuse they will be to nervouse to help them, why? Because of Sarah’s Law.”
No, this is rubbish. It would be existing laws, if such a thing ever happened, but it shouldn’t. Any court would see it was First Aid.

“It is bad idea, Baby siters would not want to look after your kids becaues they might be accused of somthing, where will that leave you no wants to risk it.”
This wouldn’t be affected by Sarah’s Law, SL is about released offenders, not prosecution of new offenders.

“”One more thing say we have Sarah’s Law, A kid gets killed by an offender whos fault is it going be”
The offenders of course, they did it.

13. Spacey - 7 March 2007

So hands up if you wish to know if there is a paedophile living in your community… I can give you the answer: Yes, there is. There are such a huge number of people on the sex offenders’ register that if you live near to or visit a major town you can bet money on it.

Now what can you do about it? Look after your children the best you can is the answer. Sarah’s Law would and should make no difference to your actions as a parent or carer of a child, yet it may increase the level of danger posed to them.

Where Sarah’s Law would make a difference is in the increase of child sex offenders “disappearing” or “going underground”. That will only serve to make effective monitoring more difficult. Once we can’t monitor a sex offender’s whereabouts, Sarah’s Law becomes all but useless.

It is not difficult to understand that the hated become haters. If society loathes you already, why would your inclination towards not harming that society again be strengthened? Probably it will make you feel less remorse for your actions; it is easy to harm a “someone” or a society which you perceive has already harmed you. Isn’t this how paedophile-bashing is also justified?

I would suggest that anyone with a serious interest in reducing re-offending rates of this terrible crime takes a look at a scheme called “Circles of Support and Accountability” which provides close monitoring of sex offenders in the community in addition to that which can be provided by the already over-stretched Probation Service and Police. (http://www.lucyfaithfull.co.uk/circles.htm provides a good summary, but just google it for more.)

Whatever anyone says, locking up all child sex offenders for their entire lives is not practical. Let’s resist the knee-jerk reaction and think a bit cleverer. Circles has great power to deter and prevent reoffending, and who would be against that?

14. Stubborn Halifax - 7 March 2007

I don’t think its a good idea at all! Sara payne stated in her speech at the police fedrations annual conference that ‘you don’t neccesarily know the name or address just that that person is at large in your community’. So she would like to be told that there is a peadophile in her community and not know who it is? On the oher hand is it really a practical idea to have parents know the names of convicted peadophiles…can you honestly say that if your child had been missing for say 3 hours, you wouldnt immediately think the worst, perhaps go and pay a ‘friendly’ visit to the named peadophile??

Many people say that it will work because the US has Megan’s Law and that works but since it came in force peadophile offences in California have risen not fallen. I’m not saying this is directly because of Megan’s Law but it still needs to be considered.

Would it really put your mind at rest knowing that someone living on the same road as you was a convicted peadophile? If this law is enforced what is to stop people wanting the same rights for say rapists. After all some rapists reoffend too…if children are to be ‘protected’ from knowing where peadophiles are why not protect potential rape victims…in fact take it one step further…why shouldn’t we be told if any kind of criminal lives near us to protect us from them committing their chosen crime against us, be it murder, child abuse, rape or even robbery. Who is to say that the general public will stop at just peadophiles?

Police Fedration chairman Jan Berry is correct in saying that when it comes to such an emotive issue the general public is not mature enough to handle such information with sensitivity.

15. No Name - 15 March 2007

Sara Payne now thinks she is a celebrity, what sort of women is she?

I was shocked to see her in the verdict on BBC2, so she wants fame out of it that’s very bad.

I wonder if we would see her next in celebrity big brother.

“Police Fedration chairman Jan Berry is correct in saying that when it comes to such an emotive issue the general public is not mature enough to handle such information with sensitivity”.

I agree the public will become animals after blood, Sarah’s Law with a celebrity mother Sara Payne is no go area.

The news of the world is common working class paper that has thickos reading it yobs and trash read that sort of paper.

16. No name - 9 April 2007

So it seems the mobs have won this fight for Sarah’s Law, just wait your kids have or will become prisoners in there homes, there will be witch hunts and all sorts of nasty attacks on innocent people.

The thugs will take there revenge on any one who they think is a pedo, we live like the Amricans, crimes of vigilantes will attack people homes will be burnt and people will live in fear.

So this is ower kids my kids brave new future pedo bashing and seeing masses of Yobs destroying peoples houses.

For your sake Sara Payne this had better work or people will start hating you The Sun and The News of the world.

I did not sign the petition because what happened in portsmouth, there for I blame you if it goes wrong and my kids are put into danger because of it.

17. Susie - 10 April 2007

Now innocent people who have been falsely accused and convicted of sex offences can live in more fear now. This campaign wont help anyone.

18. No Name Tom - 11 April 2007

Well top childrens charities Have warned The Sun do they listen no, Dose The Sun Care no.

This is definitely a hate Campaign, I am fed up with it The Sun is not listening to top childrens charities, I think they are mad with hate the Whole idea is just a money grabber for a Perv paper.

The Sun and The News of the world say we are only papar that protects children right rubbish.

If top Childrens charities are warning them about the dangers Sarah’s Law will bring, then The Sun is lieing when thay say, “we are the only paper who protects children”. (Rubbish) listen to the Childrens charities before it’s to late.

19. Esther - 19 April 2007

The introuction of Sarah’s Law will encourage vigilante attacks which are NEVER excusable, innocent people will be attacked unjustly, the ignorant who want to execute their own brand of “justice” will not wait to check their facts. People may even die.

It will drive paedophiles underground – they could move house, go abroad, change their name etc., thus making them harder to keep tabs on. It hasn’t really been though out properly; even children’s charities say it is a really bad idea.

It is a sad day that British politics allows itself to be influenced by publications like the Sun, News of the World etc. (I refuse to call them “newspapers”: they scare-monger, manipulate and fabricate so often that they must not be relied upon wholeheartedly). We will end up with disaster, if the thuggery of vigilante justice is allowed to happen.

The sympathy and support for Sarah’s family is never ging to end; what happened to their little girl was the worst thing imaginable and utterly evil. Saying that, however, Sarah’s Law may be well-intended, but it will open a can of worms that is impossible to close.

20. Tom - 21 April 2007

From The Radio 4 Interview.

Mr Narey, a former chief of the National Offender Management Service, said sex offenders may be driven underground, away from the supervision of probation officers.

Under the pilots, single mothers will be given the power to find out if a new partner is on the sex offenders’ register.

Parents will not be given names and addresses, but will be told how many offenders are in their area.

The first pilot will take place in Wansdyke, north east Somerset, where former child protection officer Dan Norris is the Labour MP.

Mr Norris told Today: “I do think we have to have a robust debate about this, but… we mustn’t duck or shirk our responsibility for protecting children.

“These pilots are a very valuable step on the road to making children safer.”

Mr Narey said he was “shocked” by news of the trials and claimed Barnardo’s and the NSPCC had been given assurances that the pilots would not take place.

He said: “This is very, very bad news. This will put children in danger.

“Our only concern is children and this will put children’s lives in danger.”

The first Megan’s Law was passed in New Jersey in 1994 after the rape and murder of Megan Kanka by Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sex offender who was living across the street from her.

A campaign to launch a British version, dubbed “Sarah’s Law”, was launched following the death of Sarah Payne, who was murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000.

Mr Narey said: “Sex offenders are very difficult to supervise… they need a great deal of supervision.

“If they flee that supervision, and you can be sure that if we have a Megan’s or a Sarah’s Law they will flee that supervision, they are unsupervised and much more dangerous.”

He warned that sex offenders may move out of the pilot areas to avoid the new rules.

Mr Narey said: “In this pilot, the people of Wansdyke, Mr Norris’ constituency, may feel very safe. Parents of children in adjacent constituencies should feel very worried.”

He added: “The best way of supervising sex offenders, if they are not in jail, is to keep them under the most meticulous supervision.

“If they are serial sex offenders, to have them curfewed, to have them subject to lie detector tests, to have staff observing them every single day.

“If they flee that they become very dangerous indeed.”

21. clare - 9 May 2007

Yes Sarah’s law should get passed I think it is about time that the government put the next generation of voters rights to live a long healthy life forward, without fear of sick twisted animals cutting their life span short. Protect our future generation, for Gods sake make the sentences harder, if they are found to have killed a child they should have death penalty, if damning evidence and admission to the crime. If they have abducted and abused a child give them life meaning life, while ever the government is soft to these vile subjects it will continue. These abominations to the human race know they can do as they please and get little or no time for their actions, they laugh at sentencing knowing they will be released early and let out to re-offend come on England get a grip and stand up for our kids.

22. Tom - 17 June 2007

This needs looking at.

This comment from Sara Payne, mother of the murdered Sarah,needs challenging:

“We never asked for Megan’s Law in this country. We never believed that Megan’s Law would work in this country. We only ever asked for access to information about predatory paedophiles in our areas.”

This is a big lie. Ever since the News of the Screws, under the helm of now Sun editor Rebekah Wade launched their campaign for “Sarah’s law”, Sara Payne has supported it. Both the Screws and Scum have demanded an exact copy of Megan’s law, the Scum going to the trouble earlier in the year to put together a leading questionnaire for its readers to demand “Sarah’s law” in full, rather than the limited scheme which the Home Office was putting forward. I have nothing but sympathy for Mrs Payne, but to willfully distort exactly what she has campaigned for over the last 7 years is unacceptable.

It’s funny that she said that.

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