Internet vigilante publishes database naming 10,000 paedophiles
7:30AM GMT 05 Nov 2010
Campaigner Chris Wittwer, 35, posted names, pictures and details of sex offenders across Britain on his site CHRIS (Children Have Rights In Society).
He said he had spent ''every waking hour'' for three years gathering police mugshots of registered sex offenders to compile the gallery of sex offenders.
It means anyone can see who has been convicted of a sexual assault in their area.
But the site was criticised by police who said the information may push paedophile rings underground as they move away from areas in a bid to conceal their identity.
There are also fears that vigilante groups may target those named and photographed for reprisals.
Mr Wittwer, of Exminster, Devon, has spent years creating his comprehensive database, which went live yesterday and said parents have the right to know where registered paedophiles live.
Father-of two Mr Wittwer said: ''It is not just about naming and shaming but also to provide support for all survivors of abuse.
''It has taken three years of research and another six months to get the site set up.
''I feel really proud. It's quite an achievement and if it helps people spot sex offenders living in their area who are a known risk to children, I've done a good thing.''
Mr Wittwer compiled details of convicted sex offenders by checking local newspapers and court records before cross-referencing them against the national sex offenders' register.
The ex-Army chef had previously tried to list paedophiles on a Facebook site, which was closed down by police.
But warehouse worker Mr Wittwer was able to start again after showing he was not breaking any laws by presenting information already in the public domain.
The website is expected to receive in excess of 250,000 hit today (Friday) after going online for the first time last night.
He says he will keep adding to his website until it features details of all all 180,000 convicted paedophiles in Britain.
Mr Wittwer said: ''Child abuse is a problem in this country that nobody seems to want to tackle head on.
''I certainly don't want to encourage or condone violence against these offenders, but people need to be aware of dangerous paedophiles living in their area.
''We are predicting so much traffic to the site that we needed to get a special server. It's a massive project, but totally worthwhile.''
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said it already followed nationally recognised protocols to manage sex registered sex offenders, which had proved ''effective''.
He said: ''The open disclosure of the details of registered sex offenders, such as that on the CHRIS website, is not a process that Devon & Cornwall Police encourages.
''It is felt this disclosure may actually make it more difficult to manage these individuals, as they become reluctant to keep authorities updated with their living arrangements and they become more difficult to track and manage.
''The website as it stands is not breaking any laws as all the information has previously been published in the public domain.
''However, it is felt the collating and publishing of this material raises awareness of where these individuals are living and ultimately may inhibit people's safety rather than protecting it - the offenders may seek to move on without updating authorities.''
* Mr Wittwer' website was due to go live on Thursday night.