Safety of children gets urgent review

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The Independent Online
An urgent review into whether new powers are needed to protect children from paedophiles is being conducted by the Home Office, it was disclosed yesterday, writes Jason Bennetto.

Mr Howard said he welcomed suggestions by the police to introduce new "child protection orders", in which all convicted paedophiles would be forced to inform the police if they moved home. Child abusers would also be banned for life from working with children in the private, public or voluntary sector.

Mr Howard has also asked the Association of Chief Police Officers to suggest possible changes in the laws. "We are conducting an urgent review." The Superintendents' Association said yesterday that they were also concerned with the increasing use of the Internet information highway to distribute child pornography.

Chief Supt Brian Mackenzie, president of the Superintendents' Association, told the conference: "A number of highprofile child murders coupled, with increasing paedophile activity assisted by the use of the information superhighway or Internet, makes this topic more and more important."

He added: "There have been recent newspaper reports of convicted paedophiles discovered living in flats overlooking a school playground, whilst a social worker is reported as having said that sex with an eight- year-old is acceptable, if the child agrees.

As an illustration he said that Rosie Palmer, aged three, in Hartlepool, was murdered by a man living a few doors away, who had been involved in previous incidents of child molestation which were not reported. He believes this information would have helped the police identify the man more quickly as a suspect.