The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has announced plans to let parents know where convicted paedophiles live – as long as they don’t pass the information on.
The Daily Mail reports that a watered-down version of “Sarah’s Law”, so-called after Sarah Payne who was murdered aged eight in 2000, will be tested in Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cleveland and Warwickshire.
But it seems that journalists should be wary of reporting any of this information. The Mail quotes a Home Office source as saying: “If people disclose information in a public way which resulted in a public order offence, then they could be prosecuted.”
After Payne’s death, the News of the World was criticised for printing names, photographs and details of 49 convicted paedophiles – although the paper’s campaign did lead to changes in the law.