Sex offender loophole closed

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Sex offenders using a loophole to give their permanent address as a park bench or bus stop will have to report to police every week under Government plans.

Freed sex offenders, including paedophiles, can give a rough location such as “somewhere in the woods” if they are homeless.

But under the plans, designed to strengthen existing checks, registered sex offenders with “no fixed abode” will have to tell the police each week, rather than each year, where they can be found.

The dodge emerged in 2006 after a convicted sex offender went missing after telling police he would be living rough in Kent. He was eventually tracked down in Devon and taken to court, where he received a conditional discharge.

Moves to close loopholes come as the whereabouts of nearly 850 registered sex offenders are unknown. A total of 843 people on the register were missing as of September 1 last year, according to the National Policing Improvement Agency.