Local Conservative MEPs, Robert Sturdy and Vicky Ford, are calling for cross border co-operation on a sex offenders register. Following the case of rapist Juozas Kankauskas they are calling for a Europe-wide database for criminal records. Kancauscas, a Lithuanian with a conviction for rape in Germany, was able to enter the country and live in Suffolk without police knowing - because neither he nor the German authorities were obliged to declare his conviction.
Juozas Kancauskas is on the Sex Offenders' Register now, but only because an officer made a thorough check of his background when he was arrested for a less serious offence. Although the UK has a Sex Offenders' Register other European states do not and because Kancauskas was convicted of rape in Germany, police in Suffolk were unaware of his past.
Vicky Ford said:
"In the same way that we share this type of information across county borders, we should also be able to share it across country borders. I see the sharing of this kind of information for the sake of public safety as being very straightforward and believe that perceived civil rights issues should not stand in it's way."
Robert Sturdy said:
"The perpetrators of serious crimes should not be able to brush off their past simply by hopping on a ferry to England. We have a right to know what sort of person is living alongside us.
This is particularly true for sex offenders. I want to be sure that all possible information is shared to alert the police and authorities to a potential danger in our midst.
The German authorities should have reported what they knew about this man to our law enforcement bodies. There are agreements in place that should have prevented this, but they were clearly not effective in this instance."
Robert and Vicky:
"Conservatives in Europe have consistently called for the creation of an effective network for sharing information across the EU about serious offences. In the past political inertia and potential technical issues have combined to thwart previous attempts to introduce such a measure, but we shall continue to press for action."
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