More than 200 sex offenders registered in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 27 Oct 2010 at 7:13 pm

More than 200 registered sex offenders are living in Brighton and Hove, according to an official report.

The number – 201 – is up from the 165 sex offenders reported to be living in the area last year.

The report says that last year’s figure was wrong but does not give the correct figure.

However, the number living in the area a year earlier, according to the 2008 report, was 147.

The Sussex Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) report by Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust said: “The number of registered sexual offenders being managed in Brighton and Hove appears to have increased significantly when compared with last year’s annual report.

“This is not actually the case and rather than being an increase in these offenders being managed in that area it is a result of under-reporting in last year’s annual report.

“We have now put in place dedicated administrative arrangements in this area to ensure accuracy of figures being reported and are confident that the figures in this annual report are accurate across all areas.

“The number of offenders being managed under MAPPA will vary slightly from year to year with new offenders coming into MAPPA and others reaching the end of their MAPPA supervision.”

The MAPPA scheme usually covers people released from prison for offences involving sex or violence or who pose some other danger.

The probation service is expected to work with partner organisations to supervise offenders. These include Sussex Police, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Brighton and Hove City Council (including the Children and Young People’s Trust), Victim Support, JobCentre Plus and Lewes Prison.

Nick Smart, Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust deputy chief executive and co-chairman of the Sussex MAPPA strategic management board, said: “We recognise that risk can never be entirely eliminated when managing difficult and potentially dangerous individuals but the information in today’s annual report testifies that MAPPA is a very effective and continually developing method of partnership working.”

The report also mentions the new diluted version of Sarah’s Law introduced by Sussex Police last month.

It says: “Giving members of the public added reassurance about those in contact with their children is the aim behind a pioneering new scheme which is to be rolled out in Sussex.

“The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme will provide parents, carers and guardians a formal channel to make inquiries about people who have direct access to their children.

“The scheme builds on existing processes to manage sexual and violent offenders.

“Although disclosure would already take place when children are deemed to be at risk, the scheme enables those eligible to apply directly for information themselves.

“Those applying for information must live in Sussex and be making an application about someone who lives in Sussex.

“Disclosure will not be appropriate in all cases but the processs will be robust and the safeguarding of children will be the key determining factor.”

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