Sex of­fence

FoI re­veals fig­ures for R’glen and Cam­bus­lang

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Edel Ke­nealy

Fifty reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers are liv­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, the Re­former can re­veal.

Fig­ures, ob­tained via a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest, show Ruther­glen’s G73 post­code is hous­ing the third­high­est num­ber of sex of­fend­ers in South La­nark­shire.

Fifty reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers are liv­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, the Re­former can re­veal.

Fig­ures, ob­tained via a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest, show Ruther­glen’s G73 post­code is hous­ing the third high­est pro­por­tion of sex of­fend­ers in South La­nark­shire. The town and its out­ly­ing ar­eas had 27 sex of­fend­ers as of May 4, 2016.

Cam­bus­lang’s G72 post­code, which takes in part of Blan­tyre, recorded 23 as of the same date.

The sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter con­tains the de­tails of any­one con­victed, cau­tioned or re­leased from pri­son for a sex­ual of­fence against chil­dren or adults since Septem­ber 1997, when it was set up.

There are 184 peo­ple on the reg­is­ter who are liv­ing in South La­nark­shire; 31 in Hamil­ton and 38 across East Kil­bride’s G74 and G75 post­codes.

But South La­nark­shire Coun­cil says it fol­lows strict guide­lines on how and where sex of­fend­ers are housed.

The Multi Agency Pub­lic Pro­tec­tion Ar­range­ments (MAPPA) gov­ern how sex of­fend­ers are housed in lo­cal author­i­ties across Scot­land.

It states the checks un­der­taken will de­pend on the of­fender, but could in­clude a phys­i­cal check of the lo­ca­tion of the house to ver­ify its prox­im­ity to play parks, com­mu­nity cen­tres, li­braries, schools and nurs­eries.

The make up of lo­cal house­holds is also con­sid­ered and would, for ex­am­ple, seek to en­sure no vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple were liv­ing in close prox­im­ity to a po­ten­tial home for the of­fender. Vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple are also listed on a reg­is­ter.

MAPPA states: “An en­vi­ron­men­tal risk as­sess­ment is used to iden­tify hous­ing-re­lated risk and in­forms de­ci­sions on man­age­able hous­ing for each of­fender that will min­imise the risks to the com­mu­nity. The as­sess­ment brings to­gether in­for­ma­tion on the of­fender, pro­posed prop­erty and lo­ca­tion and nearby house­holds to en­able a de­ci­sion on hous­ing an of­fender to be made that will min­imise the risks to the com­mu­nity.”

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of hous­ing Daniel Lowe said: “The MAPPA guid­ance in­cludes within it the Na­tional Ac­com­mo­da­tion Strat­egy for Sex Of­fend­ers. This cov­ers all hous­ing tenures across pub­lic and pri­vate hous­ing and sets out the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of lo­cal author­i­ties, hous­ing providers and other statu­tory agen­cies in­volved in the man­age­ment of sex of­fend­ers.

“Ro­bust risk as­sess­ment pro­ce­dures are ad­hered to by th­ese agen­cies in the al­lo­ca­tion of any hous­ing and are reg­u­larly mon­i­tored in line with the MAPPA guid­ance”.

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