Case study – Mike – Seeking help and sharing information on the Unlock forum

As a result of being on the sex offenders register, it was necessary for Mike to inform the police every time he intended to travel overseas.

Mike had spoken to his Public Protection Unit Officer about the possibility of going on holiday to Thailand and had been told by the PPU officer that he had no problem with Mike going away. However, when he gave the final details of his booking, unknown to Mike the PPU officer issued an Interpol ‘green flag’ on his passport. On landing in Thailand, he was refused entry by Thai Immigration and sent back to the UK on the next available flight.

Mike was bitterly upset by his experience and was loath to travel again without getting some reassurance that he would be able to gain entry to any country he chose to visit. He started to research places that he’d be able to travel to and found that no such list existed, although from his reading he discovered that he would probably come up against the same problems if he were to travel to the Philippines.

Mike was sure there must be others in a similar situation to himself and at that point turned to the Unlock forum. He posted details of his experiences online and started a ‘list’ of countries that would be likely to refuse entry to those with sexual offences. He asked that anyone with either positive or negative travel experiences add to the list. Within a matter of days, the list had grown to 12 countries.

Mike stated:

“Being turned away from Thailand was the most stressful and embarrassing experience of my life and I wouldn’t want anybody else to have to go through it. I was quite surprised that there was little information available online about the countries I’d have difficulty visiting so the obvious answer was to start a list of my own.

 

Starting this post and contributing to others was an extremely liberating experience and meant that I could be myself without fear of being judged”.

 

Lessons

Our aim has always been for theForum to be a place for discussion, debate and a way for individuals to ask for information/advice and to share experiences with their peers. This is a great example of where that is happening.

Where there is little information available on topics such as this, it can be extremely difficult for us to produce accurate and complete information that we can publish on theInformationHub. However, wherever possible, we will always link to forum posts that we believe are particularly useful.

Links

Notes about this case study 

This case study relates to our online forum.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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