MPs back Europe-wide sex offenders register

Politicians overwhelmingly support proposals for a Europe-wide sex offenders register, independent research has found.

A Populas poll conducted for the campaign to find the missing British four-year-old Madeline McCann found 84 per cent of MPs agreed sex offenders should be tracked across Europe and forced to register with local police.

Nearly nine in ten also said the Child Rescue Alert should be adopted across Europe. The initiative is already in place within the UK and is designed to heavily publicise an abduction in the first few hours – described as the ‘golden hour’ by investigators.

The McCann family yesterday raised concerns not enough was done to find Madeleine within the first few hours of her abduction on May 3.

Gerry McCann told Spanish newspapers there was a possibility his daughter had been taken to Spain.

“The border between the two countries is very big. If someone had a car, it is clear they could cross into Spain.

“There is no border guard and no-one closed the border the night Madeleine disappeared.”

Populas polled 50 Westminster MPs. A separate survey found support for a Europe-wide register among MEPs.

Some 97 MEPs supported a continent-wide register and 95 per cent said police needed a uniform approach to treating serious crimes involving children.

The McCanns believe such a database would help prevent child abuse and track offenders.

Mr McCann said: “We are pleased to see that elected members of both the UK and European parliaments agree that changes to legislation and greater consistency across the European Union are needed.

“We want to work with law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations to try to make Europe safer for all children.

“Kate and I would like to encourage further debate on how Europe can best manage serious crimes such as child abduction.”