Convicted sex offenders have to register with their local police every year. Those on the register are required to notify the police if they change their name or address, and are also required to reveal any plans to travel outside the UK. The police can photograph offenders every time they register, and all forces exchange information about the movements of such offenders, with a national computerised database having been set up to facilitate this procedure.
Police forces can also apply for sex offender orders that bar offenders from certain activities and areas frequented by children.
Those sentenced for six months or less are placed on the register for seven years, or three and a half years if under 18.
Those cautioned for a sexual offence are put on the register for two years, or one year if under 18.
What checks are in place once someone is removed from the register?
An enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check, required for anyone who works with children, would flag up someone's presence on the register, or previous convictions or cautions, to a potential employer.
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This right is known as "Megan's law", named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, who was found strangled near her New Jersey home six years ago.
Her parents campaigned for the police to notify communities when paedophiles moved in.