Ban dangerous sex offenders from changing their names

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Jason Graham was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for the rape and serious assault of a retired nurse in her Glasgow home in 2013.

Upon his release from prison five years later in 2018, he reportedly changed his name to Jason Evans.

While under police supervision in the community, Graham raped and murdered 67-year-old Esther Brown in her Glasgow flat in May 2021.

The Scottish Conservatives are calling on the SNP to ban sex offenders from changing their names – to help prevent horrific crimes like this.

Right now, there is nothing to prevent Registered Sex Offenders from hiding their identities by legally changing their names.

According to Police Scotland, 14 sex offenders changed their names in 2019, eight in 2020, and 14 in 2021.

We believe that this is a dangerous loophole, which could allow predatory sex criminals to hide their past convictions to commit further crimes – just like Jason Graham.

The number of sexual crimes in Scotland has doubled since the SNP came to power. We think more needs to be done to tackle these horrific crimes.

Our new proposals would also require sex criminals to notify the police if they use a dating app or change their gender.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Community Safety Minister Russell Findlay MSP said: 

“The right of dangerous sex offenders to change their names poses a significant risk to members of the public, especially women.

“Despite constant talk about how women are failed by the criminal justice system, it is astonishing this loophole still exists.

“Predators like Jason Graham are allowed to leave prison and slink back into communities across Scotland where they can go about their business using another name.

“This is obviously done to hide their crimes which increases the risk for those who happen to encounter them.

“We also believe that any sex offender must notify the police if they intend to use dating apps or if they change gender.

“These measures would increase public protection and make it harder for predators to target new victims.

“The SNP’s justice system prioritises criminals over victims – we want to change that.”

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