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BBC Wales's Betsan Powys reports
"Disgust at Roger Gardener's crime has spilled over in his community"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 19:51 GMT 20:51 UK
Paedophile naming law support

People in Wales have voted overwhelmingly for a new law to make public the names and addresses of sex offenders.

A poll for BBC Wales's Week In Week Out programme found that 70% of those questioned said the details of child sex offenders should be published.

Roger Gardener
Convicted paedophile Roger Gardener

The poll for the programme - broadcast on Tuesday on BBC Wales - showed that 75% of people questioned were in favour of new laws to "name and shame" convicted paedeophiles.

And among people under 35, that figure rose to 80%. Most people questioned also thought details of a person's crime should be made public along with their name and address.

Convicted paedophile Roger Gardener felt the force of a vigilante backlash when he was freed on bail awaiting sentence for indecent assault on young girls.

Peaceful protest

The disgust felt at his crimes spilled over in his home village of Fleur de Lys near Blackwood. First it was graffiti, then his home was set ablaze.

"I can understand if a few of them got together and said to me 'you've got 24 hours to get out or we will kill you'. I can understand them saying that," he said.

Nearly half the people surveyed also said that they would protest peacefully if they knew a paedophile was living in their area.

The percentage was even higher in mid and west Wales.

Perhaps more alarmingly after recent government criticism of vigilante action, more than a quarter said they would threaten a sex offender to move away.

And violence was an option for 10% of those questioned.

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See also:

06 Oct 00 | Wales
Drama focuses on child abuse
17 Mar 00 | Wales
MP alleges abuse 'cover up'
15 Feb 00 | Wales
Decades of silent suffering
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