Police believe that British sex offenders are targeting Spanish holiday resorts with one offender apparently arriving in Spain each day during the summer months.
The Guardia Civil, who cooperate with the British police force, normally receive one request per week to monitor a known offender, but during the summer this rises to one per day and the Guardia Civil just do not have the manpower to be effective.
The arrival of offenders is recorded and the Guardia Civil know which hotel they book into, but very often these offenders subsequently slip through the net due to the lack of manpower during the peak holiday season.
Britons listed on the sex offenders’ register can, depending on conditions imposed by their sentence, travel abroad if they inform their local police force at least three days prior to their departure, but permission to travel can be denied by a magistrate if there is evidence to suggest “intent to commit a crime”.
The main problem, according the Spanish authorities, is when the sex offenders fail to return home and just ‘disappear’ within the expat communities. They often change their names and start a new life, a prime example being Tony King, currently serving 62 years in a Spanish prison for two murders and an attempted rape.
Tony King, convicted in the UK of a number of violent sex attacks in London, changed his name after serving a ten year sentence and moved to the Costa del Sol and, for many years, remained undetected.