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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 18:27 GMT
Sex offenders' mug shots 'aged'
Stephen Clare
Stephen Clare is wanted for failing to register with authorities in 2002
A "most wanted" website showing images of sex offenders has marked its first anniversary by posting age-progressed photographs of people it is hunting.

Nine of 13 people originally posted on the site have been located, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre, who run the site, said.

Images are published of high-risk offenders who are required to register with authorities but have gone missing.

Those still at large will have their photos up-dated to allow for ageing.

'High-risk'

In November 2006, Ceop's "Most Wanted" website became the UK's first ever law enforcement website to publish details of convicted offenders.

A Ceop Spokeswoman said the website was directly responsible for the apprehension of the nine people who have been re-located.

A fourteenth offender - Stephen Clare, 35, has also now been added to the website.

Peter Wheatherley
Peter Wheatherley has links with South Yorkshire and the North East

Jim Gamble, head of Ceop, said: "Go missing and you potentially forgo your right to anonymity - and there is a very good chance that you could become our 15th offender to see their details posted on the site."

The Ceop spokeswoman said publishing the images was a last resort when all other means of tracking the offenders down had failed.

She said: "We don't take publishing images of these guys lightly. You have to be categorised as a high-risk individual."

She added: "We are in a fortunate position in the UK that the majority of people on the Sex Offenders' Register comply."

She said images would only be published with the consent of local police forces, and once a thorough risk assessment had been carried out.

The nine offenders who have been located over the past year were on the run for a total of 20 years between them, the spokeswoman said.

Joshua Karney
Joshua Karney has connections with Lancashire but travels across the UK

Failing to fulfil the requirements of being on the Sex Offenders' Register is an arrestable offence, punishable with up to five years in prison.

All those who had been relocated were now being processed by the criminal justice system, the spokeswoman added.

The age-progressed images were produced for Ceop by Missing People (formerly the National Missing Person's Helpline).

The Ceop spokeswoman said: "People might be tempted to change their appearance, and we don't know quite what that may be, but we do know people age."

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