Police refuse to reveal ANY information about sex offender who has been on run for month
21 MAR 2016
Officers won’t reveal whether the criminal is high-risk and insist it’s safer to keep the details secret
Police are refusing to reveal details about an on-the-run sex offender
Police are refusing to release any information to the public about a sex offender who has been on the run for a month.
Officers won’t say whether the criminal is high-risk and insist it’s safer to keep the details secret.
The hunt has been going on across the country since the pervert, who disappeared from his home – believed to be in the Strathclyde area – in February, the Daily Record reports.
Margaret-Ann Cummings, whose eight-year-old son Mark was killed by convicted paedophile Stuart Leggate in Glasgow in 2004, said: “Blanket secrecy is the wrong way to go about things.
“Every day that the police stay quiet about a missing sex offender is a gamble.
Margaret Ann Cummings in 2005
Margaret-Ann Cummings’ eight-year-old son Mark was killed by a convicted paedophile
“The trail gets colder and the longer they’re at large, the more chance they have to change their appearance.
“These types of criminals relish secrecy because it allows them to reoffend, so hushing up their disappearance adds to the public risk, not the other way round.
“It beggars belief that this policy is in place. It could cost someone their life.”
It’s far from an isolated case. In November, Mark Ingram, 33, vanished from Aberdeen for a month after being charged with a series of sex crimes.
When police put out an appeal for information on his where-abouts, no mention was made that he posed a risk.
Last week, he was jailed for 26 months for a sexual assault on a female passer-by and two incidents in which he tailed children through the streets while simulating a sex act.
Last year, we revealed how Police Scotland stayed silent when Mark Hudgell, a paedophile with links to Edinburgh, vanished in Lincolnshire.
English police went public but even though the hunt headed north, Scots were not told.
Police ScotlandLorcan HaltonIn 2014, police were slated for waiting 11 weeks to reveal pervert Lorcan Halton, 45, had vanished from Glasgow
The 31-year-old was picked up in East Lothian six days later but walked free from court due to a legal bungle.
Police Scotland again kept quiet and he was only caught when he was spotted by local people.
Secrecy is hard to understand because when the alarm is raised, offenders are often caught quickly.
Paedophile Paul Vernon was hiding near Oban, Argyll, last March. Teachers were warned to watch out for him but parents were not told until the Daily Record intervened.
A reader’s tip-off led to him being nabbed in hours.
In 2014, police were slated for waiting 11 weeks to reveal pervert Lorcan Halton, 45, had vanished from Glasgow. He was picked up in Cavan, Ireland, within 48 hours of a public appeal.
Ten years ago, a Scottish Parliament committee looked into how sex offenders could be better managed following Mark Cummings’s murder and urged giving details to the public, as is the case in the US and Australia.
In November, Mark Ingram, 33, vanished from Aberdeen for a month after being charged with a series of sex crimes
Glasgow Provan MSP Paul Martin, who is campaigning for reform on the issue, said: “The police are giving this person the chance to remain anonymous and potentially build relationships with people and children.
“Do they not want to catch this individual?”
Police Scotland said: “It would be inappropriate to comment.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said police make the decision but liaise with the Crown Office to prevent court proceedings being jeopardised.
He added: “Any decision can only be made when there is an overriding public safety requirement, that doing so will aid the investigation or when alternative means are exhausted.”
Sex offender on loose but Police Scotland refuse to give any information about him to the public