© https://bit.ly/3xsoMOK CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

UK to introduce mandatory lie detector tests for high-risk sex offenders 

The United Kingdom’s Home Office is to commence a 3-year pilot of mandatory polygraph (lie-detector) tests on high-risk sex offenders and domestic abuse perpetrators who have been released on licence and identified as being at high risk of causing serious harm.

The news comes as the head of the Sex Offender Management Unit for Greater Manchester Police endorsed the use of polygraph testing as a mandatory licence condition attached to high-risk sex offenders probation.

If the pilot is successful in the Greater Manchester area, it will then be rolled out to all high-risk sex offender and domestic abuse perpetrators in England and Wales.

Legislation giving effect to the mandatory testing will require those who meet the eligibility criteria to take a polygraph test 3 months after their release from custody and every 6 months thereafter unless the test is failed.

Should the offender fail a test, he or she will be required to take the test more frequently.

While Polygraph examinations have been successfully used in the management of people convicted of sexual offences since 2014 in the UK Probation Service, there use has not been mandatory.

The new pilot scheme will be apply testing on those offenders who are aged 18 years and over; assessed as very high or high risk of serious harm or have been convicted of one or more of the following offences: murder, a specified violent offence, or breach of a restraining order where the offence involved domestic abuse; controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.

Persons sentenced to a term of custody of 12 months or more and released on licence will also be subject to mandatory testing.

While the Home Office note that results of the tests cannot be used as evidence in court or as the basis for recalling offenders to prison, it also makes clear that there are sanctions for failing the tests or making adverse disclosures during the tests; for example, increased reporting, the imposition of additional licence conditions or increasing the frequency of testing.

To date in the UK, over 5,000 tests have taken place with sexual offenders, with two thirds of those tests resulting in significant disclosures.

The Home Office provide the example of ‘J’ who is a 47-year-old man convicted of the sexual abuse of young boys. He had a licence condition not to have contact with children under the age of 18 years and was subject to mandatory polygraph testing as part of his release following a 9 year custodial sentence.

During the polygraph examination he denied any contact with children under the age of 18 years.

The test result however indicated deception.

The polygraph examiner contacted the probation practitioner who immediately contacted the police. The police were waiting for the offender when he returned to his property and found 3 young boys and another adult in the house.

In support of mandatory testing, The Home Office also highlighted the case of ‘C’ who is a 33-year-old man convicted of downloading and sharing indecent images of children.

He had a licence condition not to possess any internet devices unless approved by his supervising officer.

C was subject to mandatory polygraph testing as part of his release licence following a 3 year custodial sentence.

During the polygraph pre-test phase he disclosed that he had a laptop, but that it was his mother’s and it was not internet enabled.

He was then tested and asked ‘other than what you have already told me, do you have any internet enabled devices’. He replied ‘no’ to the question and deception was indicated. During the post test phase the examiner told him he had failed the question and asked if there was anything he would like to add. C said there was not.

The polygraph examiner notified the probation practitioner, who visited C at home with the police with a warrant.

The police discovered numerous phones, a laptop and several USB sticks containing indecent images of children. C was immediately recalled to custody and charged.

J was immediately recalled to custody. The police were able to make further investigations.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

The biggest problem Ireland faces right now is:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...