Sinn Féin - On Your Side

South Armagh incident once again highlights inadequacies of Sex Offender Management

1 April, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry and Mourne Councillor Anthony Flynn speaking at last night's meeting of the Council said that the Council should contact the NI Sex Offender Strategic Management Committee (NISOSMC), to highlight the serious issues regarding the release of a convicted sex offender into the local Mullaghbawn community last week.

Cllr Flynn said:

"The incident highlighted serious issues in the breakdown of the communication of information regarding the release of this person and the impact on the community.

"Because of this breakdown of communication, what the local community here experienced last weekend was the creation of a climate of fear and apprehension, particularly amongst the mothers of young people.

"This man who had been found guilty of indecently assaulting young children, and was prohibited from being in contact with young people, was released from prison without the Social Services, the Housing Executive or the PSNI being informed. He was then placed in a residential area close to a children's crèche.

"How many more examples of this type of communication breakdown between agencies are we going to have to experience?"

Anthony concluded by stating that it had taken huge efforts to convince the Social Services and the other agencies involved that there was a serious issue.

Cllr Flynn concluded:

"It took quite a while and many phone calls to try to get a coordinated approach to the issue. One of the problems is the area of whom and what agency has responsibility for such matters. Eventually the person involved was moved into what I would expect was more appropriate type of accommodation. However the whole incident flagged up again what many see as the inadequacies of the system and the disjointed approach. The public deserve to be reassured and protected." ENDS

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