Britain to extend hormone treatment for sex offenders


BRITAIN:Convicted child sex offenders face drug therapy to suppress their libido, satellite tracking and lie detector tests to try to stop them from reoffending, the British government said yesterday.

Home secretary John Reid said the use of anti-depressants and hormone treatments would be extended, although it would be voluntary and would not amount to "chemical castration".

"There are few crimes more horrific than sexual offences against children," he said. "We have now considered how we can further improve the system to provide maximum protection to our children."

The plans follow a review into how information about child sex offenders should be handled.

The proposals for England and Wales are set to give parents, guardians and carers some access to details about convicted paedophiles. Mothers could request a police check if they have concerns about a new partner, for example.

But ministers have ruled out adopting a version of "Megan's law" in the US, which allows widespread access to details about sex offenders.

Conservative shadow home secretary David Davis said the review may do little to cut reoffending. "The home secretary said that protecting vulnerable children was his highest priority, in which case, they deserve much better than this," he said.

Mr Reid said the new measures were designed to give people at risk, particularly young single mothers, better information, while also avoiding driving paedophiles underground.

"I think we devised a way of doing that, which means that information can be passed to those who are most at risk," he told BBC radio . - (Reuters)