High risk sex offenders living in Comet country

THERE are 135 registered sex offenders, violent offenders and other dangerous offenders of high risk to the public living in the community, The Comet can reveal following a Freedom of Information request to Hertfordshire Police.

During the financial year 2010/11, 68 sex offenders, violent offenders and other dangerous offenders living in Stevenage, 59 living in Hitchin or Letchworth GC and eight living in Baldock were managed through the Hertfordshire Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

MAPPA, introduced nationally in 2001, is a way of ensuring that the most dangerous people living in our communities are monitored intensively by the three lead agencies - probation, police, prison - with input from other relevant organisations, such as mental health, housing, education and youth offending.

Monthly meetings are held to review cases, share information and to monitor risk, looking out particularly for changes in an offender’s behaviour or circumstances that could lead to increased risk to the public.

They also agree what practical support the agencies can give offenders to make them less likely to reoffend.

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Hertfordshire Probation, working closely with the police, have begun piloting the use of GPS tracking devices with MAPPA offenders. This means a tagged offender’s whereabouts can be monitored by the minute.

Hertfordshire MAPPA’s 10th annual report shows that three high risk sex offenders and seven high risk violent offenders in the county were returned to prison for failing to comply with their order.

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Steve Johnson-Proctor, director of operations at Hertfordshire Probation Trust and chair of the MAPPA board, said: “As chair of the MAPPA board, I’m very pleased with the way agencies across the county pull together to ensure these people are appropriately monitored and provided with the support they need to reduce their risk of reoffending.”

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