London, Aug 25 : English rock and pop singer Gary Glitter, a convicted sex offender, has been given the liberty of taking weekend trips abroad without informing the police about it.
Officials have confirmed that Glitter, who is in hiding in Britain after serving a three-year prison sentence for child abuse in Vietnam, got permission to leave the country for up to three days without notifying the authorities.
According to media reports, the leniency accorded to Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, has exposed flaws in the British legal system, which had claimed to have some of the tightest controls on sex offenders in the world.
In other cases involving sex offenders, it is a must to inform the police when taking trips abroad, and some are even restricted from leaving the country. A report published earlier this month found that since 2003, only three sex offenders had been issued with foreign travel orders preventing journeys overseas.
By comparison, more than 3,000 banning orders were handed to football hooligans.
Christine Beddoe, author of the report and director of Ecpat UK, a children's rights group, has asked for a clear cut law to be imposed by the government.
"The government must take immediate steps to give clear guidance on when travel bans should be used to protect the world's most vulnerable children," Times Online quoted her as saying.
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, Glitter must inform the police of any address where he stays for longer than seven days.