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Police chief suspects ‘frightening’ number of paedophiles rehoused in Welsh counties

28 Oct 2023 4 minute read
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Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

A senior police officer has warned councillors that he suspected two counties had a ‘frightening number’ of paedophiles rehoused in their communities.

Chief Insp Jeff Moses was giving a presentation on North Wales Police’s work at an economy and place overview and scrutiny committee at Bodlondeb.

Insp Moses was taking questions from councillors on crime when Abergele and Llanddulas councillor Keith Eeles said a convicted sex offender and paedophile had been rehoused by the probation service within 50 yards of a children’s park.

Representing concerned parents, Cllr Eeles then asked the chief inspector why councillors weren’t part of the consultation process when sex offenders were rehoused.

The councillor also said he had been stonewalled by the probation service when asking for figures on the number of sex offenders rehoused in North Wales communities.

Stonewalled

“Are there any figures between Conwy and Denbighshire on how many paedophiles you get placed in our respective counties,” said Cllr Eeles.

“I know we’ll probably never find out because I had an issue a while back, and I was basically stonewalled, trying to get information (from the probation service).

“It is not necessarily North Wales Police’s fault because I had quite a constructive meeting with police, but nevertheless it did absolutely nothing for parents’ concerns with a suspect in the village.

“To exacerbate the situation, it appeared the person was located or housed within 50 yards of a play park. From what the sergeant was explaining, his hands were pretty much tied because it wasn’t North Wales Police’s decision where to house him. That was probation service’s (decision).

“But I also think that when you get someone like probation services housing a paedophile in the community, I think there should be some input from the local elected members who know their communities inside out.

“In some communities, a new face will stand out like a beacon because everybody knows everybody, and people are related. Then you get a new face coming in. Ultimately in this situation, the person was recognised by somebody who had been in the same institution.”

He added, “I was just getting stonewalled for confirmation or (them) denying the situation.”

Decision-making

Clr Eeles then asked if members could be involved in the decision-making process when sex offenders were ‘dumped’ in a close-knit community.

Chief Insp Moses gave a brief answer before the meeting’s chair Cllr Mike Priestley said he was uncomfortable with the debate and asked for the conversation to be taken offline.

But Chief Insp Moses responded: “I think I’m aware of the case. It is a really difficult problem, isn’t it? I will ask the question because we must have data on how many people are housed in our communities.

“I suspect the numbers would be quite frightening. And actually that’s part of the problem, isn’t it? Where do we house everybody? It is something that probation and partners will risk assess and manage, and of course, once they are housed, there is a management process, and that involves the local police team visiting and so on as when required.”

He added: “If I’m honest I don’t have those figures to hand, but I can ask the question. I’d like the opportunity to get back to the councillor if I can.

“In terms of the bigger question about the process change, as to whether we can involve elected members in that decision-making process, I suppose that would be a discussion with probation whether there’s any sort of precedent there.”


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Linda Jones
Linda Jones
6 months ago

I assume neighbours in the villages can ask the police whether newcomer is a paedophile under Sarahs Law?

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

I just checked. It’s not as straightforward as letting anyone ask. I guess they have to prevent lynch mobs, British law being based on a balance of punishment and rehabilitation (in theory at least if not in practise). This is the description I found “ Sarah’s Law, or the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme allows parents, carers and guardians to ask the police to tell them if someone has a criminal record for child sexual offences. If police checks show the individual has a record for child sexual offences, or other offences that might put the child at risk, the… Read more »

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