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  • Court battle looms over sex offenders’ addresses

    Posted on April 11th, 2009 admin No comments

    Child sex killer Stuart Leggate: Would you want to know if he moved into your road?

    Child sex killer Stuart Leggate: Would you want to know if he moved into your road?

    An important test case looks set to be heading to the Court of Session in Scotland in relation to the disclosure of where paedophiles are housed.


    Three Scottish Housing Associations have been trying to use the Act to establish if they have become “dumping grounds” for sex offenders when they are released from prison.

    Requests to Strathclyde Police and then the Scottish Information Commissioner have been refused on the basis that disclosure would be a breach under the Data Protection Act of the individuals’ personal data.

    The Housing Associations argue that they do not want exact addresses but postcodes so it can be seen if such individuals are being foisted on to them.

    The Associations say accurate data on the subject would allow a more informed debate about the topic of how and where paedophiles are housed.

    It is believed the Associations have been attempting to get hold of the statistical data since the 2004 murder of schoolboy Mark Cummings in Royston, Glasgow, by Stuart Leggate, who had previous convictions for sexually assaulting children and was on the sex offenders’ register (link).

    For more details on the case see the following article from The Herald (link).

    Editor’s note: In the early days of FoI in England my successful appeal ended with police forces in England increasing the geographical data they gave out about sex offenders (link). However, it is still very wide and nowhere near as specific as the Housing Associations in this case are requesting. I understand the concerns about vigilante attacks but if you were a parent living in this accommodation or an official tasked with housing families wouldn’t you like to know who the neighbours are?