In England and Wales serious sex offenders, including paedophiles, who are released on licence are legally obliged to take bi annual lie detector tests on request. If they refuse, they are re- incarcerated. Now campaigners are calling for sex offenders to take lie detectors in Scotland where the law is not the same.
This follows the success of polygraph tests in England. More than 160 sex offenders have been returned to prison to serve out the remainder of their sentences since lie detector tests were introduced in 2014.
Mark Cummings case
The case of Mark Cummings perfectly highlights why campaigners want the tests to be implemented. Mark, aged 8, was horrifically murdered in 2004 by Stuart Leggate. Margaret Ann Cummings, Mark’s mother had no idea that a previously convicted sex offender lived close by. She discovered this only after her son had been sexually molested and strangled to death. Leggate is currently serving a minimum 20 year sentence in prison.
Rapists, paedophiles and other sex offenders are currently able to refuse lie detector tests in Scotland. However, the Scottish police would like them to be compulsory.
Pressure is being brought to bear on Michael Matheson (Justice Secretary) to bring regulations in line with those of England.
Margaret Ann Cummings believes that polygraph tests are valuable and should be placed at the disposal of officials, who she thinks are easily deceived by sex offenders. Referring to tests in England that produce “positive results” she wants the law in Scotland to catch up with that of England.
Scottish Government awaits data
Whilst the Scottish Government takes an interest in such technology a spokesperson stated that tests will be considered when data is available as to how effective the tests have been. There are only a few police forces in England who use them but the number is growing.
Of the 4089 registered sex offenders living in Scotland, almost 300 are considered to be ‘high risk’.
Lie detector tests in Scotland
We can only speculate whether or not Stuart Leggate would have been roaming the streets had compulsory lie detector tests in Scotland been introduced in 1999 when he was first released from prison. He had served 4 years for sexually assaulting boys aged between 3 and 10 and was placed on the sex offenders’ register.
Often when told they must take a lie detector test, sex offenders admit their crimes. In our view anything that prevents them from re-offending has to be a good thing.
If you would like more information on how to book a lie detector test in Scotland, contact us on 0800 861 1058 or visit our website – Lie Detector Test UK