By Ian Kirby
The News of the World has scored a massive victory in its historic crusade to protect Britain's children from paedophile monsters.
Sarah's Law - which would give parents the right to information about dangerous paedophiles - is on the brink of being introduced in Britain.
After a six year battle by the News of the World Home Secretary John Reid ORDERED a review of our campaign and CLOSED 11 bail hostels to child sex offenders.
The U-turn follows our relentless campaign to expose the dangers of child sex fiends secretly housed in bail hostels close to schools.
In a surprise move Mr Reid this weekend:
# BANNED paedophile inmates from ELEVEN government hostels (pictured on this page) near to classrooms and nurseries,
# SHUNTED 60 child abusers out to less risky locations away from vulnerable youngsters,
# ANNOUNCED he is urgently sending a top minister to America to learn how their version of Sarah’s Law works,
# VOWED parents will be entitled to much more information about dangerous paedophiles in their area, and
# ACCEPTED a list be published pinpointing ALL bail hostels in Britain where paedophiles can still be placed.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OFFICIAL HOME OFFICE LIST
[Note from blog editor: I'm not going to link to this list. Nor am I going to present photos of a series of hostels as NOTW has done. But I will include this link to instructions for making your very own flaming torch... just in case you want to march on the house of a nearby paediatrician.]
In a huge sea change of government attitude, Dr Reid sent shock waves through the police, probation and prison system by declaring bluntly: “I start from the position that information should no longer remain the exclusive preserve of officialdom.
“I have also asked the minister to study specifically the News of the World’s Sarah’s Law proposals on controlled access to information.
“I believe the public have the right to protection and they have the right to information.
“We must make sure that we get the balance right though and that the free flow of information does not undermine the public’s safety.
“That’s why we will go to America to see how it’s done there and look hard at the Sarah’s Law proposals.”
Dr Reid's decisions are a massive breakthrough in our six-year For Sarah Campaign.
They came after we confronted the Home Office with damning evidence of how many official government hostels and halfway houses secretly take in newly-released paedophiles without the local community’s knowledge.
Last night he said: “I have instructed that no child sex offenders reside in accommodation directly adjacent to schools.” And on his orders Minister Gerry Sutcliffe will fly to the US to examine Megan’s Law — a system which publicises the whereabouts of paedophiles.
Mr Sutcliffe stressed he wanted to see children given the maximum amount of protection possible.
He said: “I want to learn how the system works in America and see how controlled access to the information can be used to protect families and children in the best public interest.”
After a nationwide probe we informed the Home Office about 11 paedophile hostels next to schools, play centres and nurseries.
They are located in Luton, Ellesmere Port, Blackburn, Leicester, London, Sheffield, Stafford, Nuneaton, Birmingham, Leeds and Lincoln.
On Friday Mr Sutcliffe asked for their status to be changed — effectively CLOSING them to child-sex offenders.
The Head of the Probation Service, Roger Hill, then signed an order changing the admissions policy.
That meant SIXTY inmates were immediately told they were being moved away from children.
Mr Sutcliffe told us: “The protection of the public and offender management are both priorities — but public protection comes first.”
Other hostels are now being reviewed and paedophiles may be switched from them, too, if they are deemed to be too close to schools.
Last night the Home Office agreed that their official list of around 75 remaining hostels where child-sex pests CAN STILL be housed could be published and so made available to parents and the general public.
This is further evidence of a giant change in the department’s attitude towards parents’ right to know.
The hostels are not sealed compounds with heavy security, but normal buildings in residential streets, often near busy town centres.
Many have nothing to identify them as Home Office-run buildings and those who use them are free to mix with unsuspecting parents and children on high streets up and down the country.
Time and again since we launched our For Sarah campaign in 2000, paedophiles on the Sex Offenders’ Register have been allowed to stike again.
Last night the parents of US victims praised our campaign and hailed the Home Office moves.
Mark Lunsford, 42 — responsible for Jessica's Law being introduced in America after his nine-year-old daughter was abducted, raped and buried alive — said: “The law has to be tough on sexual predators. This is a step in the right direction.”
Maureen Kanka, 47, who was responsible for Megan’s Law in memory of her murdered daughter, said: “I applaud the News of the World. The only way to keep children safe is for stronger laws.”