THE UK is failing British children overseas, as numerous paedophiles are being allowed to travel overseas to commit sex crimes, a new report has found.
Dozens of dangerous sex offenders are being allowed to live around Europe, many in countries like Spain.
In the hard hitting report, released today, British expats have requested consular assistance numerous times over child sex and child pornography offences.
The findings have been released in a 74-page report by the Inquiry, which is part of Britain’s in-depth Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Titled ‘Children Outside the UK’, it found that UK offenders ‘figure highly’ in the numbers of sex crimes against British children abroad.
According to the report, from March 31, 2018, only around 0.2% of the 58,637 registered sex offenders in England and Wales had their foreign travel restricted.
It says that the disclosure and barring service is ‘confusing, inconsistent and in need of reform’.
A shocking 361 suspected child sex abuse cases were recorded between 2013 and 2017 alone.
In 2018, in Spain alone, around five Brits were arrested for child sex offences, according to data by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Up to five more Brits in Spain were held for child porn charges in the same year, although the exact figures are not given.
In 2016, the Olive Press, was able to snare wanted paedophile Matthew Sammon just hours after being named as one of the top 10 most wanted fugitives by Crimestoppers.
Police swarmed Sammon’s camper van in the popular Costa del Sol holiday resort of Fuengirola, after a reader tipped us off where he was living.
Two of our journalists staked out Sammon, while in communication with Crimestoppers and Spanish cops.
Wanted for possession of indecent images of children, Sammon, a black belt in Jujitsu, had hid out in Spain for two years and was believed to have abused local kids.
In the same year, serial child abuser Mark Frost was snared. He later admitted to 45 offences, spanning 25 years, until he was tracked down to Spain, after fleeing a sex abuse probe in Thailand, involving a string of 10 to 14-year-old boys.
Spanish and Dutch authorities charged him with 67 offences, 23 of which he pled guilty to.
He also pled guilty to 22 offences, which he was charged with under Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which extends the jurisdiction of UK courts abroad.
However it is suggested in the report that Section 72 may be underused, as since 1997, there have only been ‘eight successful such prosecutions’.
Infamous pop star Gary Glitter – aka Paul Gadd – was jailed for four months in 1999, after admitting to the possession of indecent images of children.
He later fled to Spain, where the Olive Press tracked him down in 2008 to Sotogrande port.
He went on to abuse girls, aged 10 and 11 in Cambodia.
The report concludes that ‘large numbers of adults’ around the world travel abroad to sexually abuse children.
It also found that in relation to low numbers of Section 72 prosecutions, the ‘first country first’ principle is often applied, where investigations are carried out in the country where the offence occurred.
The report’s recommendations include that the British Government create a ‘national plan of action’ to address the sexual abuse by British nationals overseas.
It also suggests the creation of a list accessible by the National Crime Agency of countries where children may be at risk of sexuak abuse.
Chair of the Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay OBE, said:
“The sexual abuse of children overseas by UK nationals is an urgent problem which must be addressed.
“Current gaps in our legal system are allowing known offenders to travel abroad to target vulnerable children in less developed countries, and this is simply not acceptable.
“The Panel and I hope this report and its recommendations will lead the authorities to tighten their grip on abusers who seek to exploit some of the most vulnerable children in the world.”