Monday, September 10, 2012

UK - North vigilantes post sex offender leaflet to villagers

Original Article

09/10/2012

By Sophie Doughty

Vigilantes posted details of a convicted sex offender’s whereabouts through doors in the village where he lives.

Northumbria Police have been forced to reassure residents that sex offenders in the area are closely monitored after the incident which shocked those who received the letter.

Dozens of people living in the Northumberland community were stunned when a letter landed on their doorsteps informing them a pervert was sharing their streets.

The A4 leaflet is a photocopy of correspondence sent to a witness in the case informing them the offender had been found guilty of indecent assault and sexual assault.

However, it has been doctored to include a picture of the sex attacker along with the registration of his car and his full address. The Chronicle has chosen not to name the attacker or the village where he lives.

People living in the close-knit village told of their shock and confusion at receiving the note.

Dad-of-one Michael Pears, 23, said: “I didn’t know what to think when I got it through the door.”

Obviously it is concerning because I have got a little one. I was just very surprised. I have never seen this man in my life.”

Villagers said they saw a group of people delivering the notes through almost every door on their estate.

The original letter was sent by the Northumbria Witness Care Unit at Newcastle’s Market Street Police Station.

It refers to the case of a sex attacker who was found guilty of the charges following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The letter goes on to say that on July 10 he was sentenced to a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18-months, and was made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years.

Police have since visited homes asking about the letter.

Northumbria Police has moved to reassure residents that all convicted sex offenders are appropriately monitored.

A spokesman for the force said: “Northumbria Police will not confirm or deny the address of any convicted sex offender.”

All registered sex offenders are subject to MAPPA (multi agency public protection arrangements) and as such a thorough risk assessment is carried out and comprehensive multi agency risk management plans put in place.”

MAPPA is a well established system which is very effective in managing and reducing risk, ensuring that every legally available and proportionate measure is taken to protect the public.”

The Public Protection arrangements work to minimise the risk posed by each individual offender and to protect the public.”


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