Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster has this week backed the 'Sexual Offences (Prohibition of Name Change) Bill' which would amend the law to close a legal loophole regarding sex offenders changing their names.
Currently sex offenders can change their name by deed poll and, in a bizarre loophole, the offender is the one responsible for then notifying the relevant authorities of the change. This can render both the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme (otherwise known as ‘Sarah’s Law’) and the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (otherwise known as ‘Claire’s Law’) ineffective. Following research carried out by the Safeguarding Alliance, it has become clear thousands of offenders are being lost from the system, posing a risk to victims and the vulnerable.
Kevin has now joined a cross-party group of MPs backing the Sexual Offences (Prohibition of Name Change) Bill brought in under the Ten-Minute Rule on Wednesday the 1st of March by Mark Fletcher, the Conservative MP for Bolsover. The bill will seek to remove the right of sex offenders to change their name and ban this practice, ending the ability to simply opt-out of the sex offender register system by doing so.
Kevin Foster MP said: “This bill draws attention to a legal loophole is putting people at risk. We currently have a system where convicted sex offenders, people who have already lost society’s trust, are the ones responsible for updating the register when they change their name via deed poll. This needs urgent attention, so I am joining dozens of parliamentary colleagues on a cross-party basis in backing Mark’s bill and urging the government to act.”
Notes to Editors:
- For more information, please contact Kevin Foster on 01803 214 989
- The Sexual Offences (Prohibition of Name Change) Bill:
You can find further details and track the progress of this bill on Parliament’s website by following this link:
The attached photograph is a screen shot of Kevin Foster MP in the House of Commons chamber on 1st March 2023 to hear Mark Fletcher introduce his bill.