Organised crime chiefs to list global paedophile hotspots after Ben Lewis case

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Organised crime chiefs to list global paedophile hotspots after Ben Lewis case

The Home Office has asked the National Crime Agency to draw up a list of countries where underage victims are at risk from British offenders, following jailing of Bushey predator

Ben Lewis, who changed his name to Ben Rose in Spain
Ben Lewis, who changed his name to Ben Rose in Spain

A list of paedophile sex tourism hotspots across the world where British predators target children is to be drawn up by the UK’s biggest detective network, after one was jailed for 138 years for molesting 36 minors.

The Home Office has asked the National Crime Agency to draw up a list of countries where underage victims are at risk from British offenders, by the end of this year.

The move follows the case of Ben Lewis, co-founder of LL Camps in Bushey, who was sentenced to 138 years in jail in Spain after being found guilty of abusing the trust of his employers to commit a new string of crimes against children as young as seven.

Three Spanish judges found Lewis – who changed his name to Ben Rose in Spain – guilty last month of eight counts of making child pornography, a crime of inflicting degrading treatment on another person, 32 privacy offences and one count of forgery.

Lewis had moved to Spain and changed his name in 2016 to Ben David Rose, four months after being let off with a suspended two-year jail term for making an indecent film of a nine-year-old girl at the summer camp.

The new sex tourism list also follows the start of an independent review into the way police forces watch registered sex offenders in the UK.

The Home Secretary on March 2 announced the head of the review would be Mick Creedon, for 10 years Derbyshire’s chief constable, who will report back by the end of the year on what needs to be done to improve policing of paedophiles.

Registered sex offenders are currently legally required to tell cops if they change their name. They must also notify local police of any overseas travel, so police can assess the risk an offender may pose abroad.

Their local force tells Interpol and foreign police forces if they think there is a danger of reoffending – and can apply to the courts for a civil order to block them travelling.

The Home Office guidance says: “If the offender changes their name and notifies the police of this change, the police could then inform the relevant country, on a case-by-case basis.”

Passport control relies on each police force to notify them of travelling registered sex offenders so they can be flagged on the Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) systems.

If a sex offender then applies for a passport under a new name, HMPO and the local force can block the application.

A Home Office spokesperson stressed it does not comment on individual cases but added: “The government is working to disrupt those who travel overseas to abuse children and bring justice to victims and survivors.

“Registered sex offenders are legally required to inform the police if they change their name and of any foreign travel.

“Failure to do so is a criminal offence, punishable by a maximum of 5 years’ imprisonment. The Home Secretary has commissioned an independent review into the police management of registered sex offenders in the community which will deliver recommendations by the end of this year.”

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