Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Moves to block border loophoole

New datasharing measures should stop sex offenders exploiting the border to flee the authorities, the Irish justice minister said yesterday.

Dermot Ahern was speaking after police launched an all-island manhunt for police fugitive and dangerous sex offender Ernest George Finlay.

Mr Ahern met Security Minister Paul Goggins at Hillsborough, Co Down, yesterday.

“We are determined that sex offenders cannot use the border to flee justice and we have been looking at how we can change our systems and legislation to ensure that the border isn’t used,” he said.

“We have moved on this issue and the north has moved as well. We want to harmonise the notification procedures north and south so that there’s no difficulties at our end. We have given the go-ahead to align the IT systems and databases so we are absolutely up to speed.”

Mr Ahern said both jurisdictions were considering exchanging staff so common knowledge can be built.

“We are both agreed that the whole issue of sex offenders on the island would be a top priority.”

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