Sex offenders who attempt to travel in and out of the country illegally will be targeted by Lancashire Police today in a day of action at two airports.
Officers from the county will join staff from five other north west police forces, along with the UK Border Force, the National Borders Targeting Centre (NBTC), the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the National Crime Agency (NCA) at Manchester and Liverpool airports to catch out registered sex offenders who are flouting their legal requirements when travelling in and out of the country.
Operation Scorpion will identify known offenders attempting to travel, and will see criminals spoken to by officers and immediately arrested under the Sexual Offenders Act 2003.
When a registered sex offender travels abroad, they are required to alert their local police force under the conditions of the Act.
The information is passed on and forms part of the visa requirements to enter countries across the world, and allows those countries to decide whether the individual is allowed to enter, based on the offence the person has committed.
Det Insp Paul Barlow, who is involved in the operation, said: “This day of action is about targeting offenders who should keep us informed with regards to any travelling they do.
“Despite strict rules being in place, sex offenders don’t always inform us about their plans to travel and this operation is about letting them know that we will found out if they are travelling abroad and we will arrest them.
“This is also about reassuring the public that we proactively target sex offenders who don’t comply with the rules and conditions that they have to abide by when travelling.
“We will continue to run the operation in the future so sex offenders be warned, you must alert us or your local police force when you are travelling or we will find you.”