DORSET ECHO INVESTIGATES: Fears grow over 'hard to trace' sex offenders

CONCERNED: Margaret Morrissey

‘DUTY OF CARE’: Claude Knights

DORSET ECHO INVESTIGATES: Fears grow over 'hard to trace' sex offenders

First published in News
Last updated

CONCERNS have been raised about how authorities can keep tabs on four sex offenders who are homeless in Dorset.

The offenders, whose identities will not be revealed by the police, are registered as of ‘no fixed abode’ – which a leading figure in child protection says makes them ‘difficult to assess and monitor’.

The police have also revealed that 33 Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) moved to Dorset in 2013 and three sex offenders are currently missing or wanted, sparking more concern.

Dorset Police have refused to tell the Echo how dangerous any of these sex offenders are because the ‘public interest argument for withholding the information considerably outweighs those in favour of disclosure’.

Sex offenders are managed by the Dorset Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Management Board (MAPPA) and categorised according to their threat to the public.

MAPPA publishes a report about the number of sex offenders in the county and their ‘level’ – a scale dependant on how much monitoring they need.

Level one offenders need ordinary agency management, level two is where the active involvement of more than one agency is required. Level three is where senior oversight is required to monitor an offender.

We asked the police two questions – the level of the RSOs listed as homeless and the level of the RSOs listed as missing.

But the police say they can’t reveal the level of any of these offenders because ‘it would reveal information to the RSOs which could be used to their advantage’.

They say the offenders would be able to ‘adjust their behaviour to avoid detection’.

They also say that homeless people are a vulnerable group and someone could be identified, either rightly or wrongly, as one of the offenders.

The Echo was prompted to investigate how many sex offenders in the county don’t have a fixed address following the imprisonment of rapist Mark Gillard.

Gillard was convicted in 1998 and was put on the sex offenders’ register, requiring him to tell the police where he is living.

He moved from Southampton to Dorset last year, failing to keep officers informed.

Since August 2012, it has been a legal requirement for sex offenders who are of ‘no fixed abode’ to check in with the police every week.

Registrants must inform the police within three days if they change their address or name or register as homeless.

But chief executive of children’s safety charity Kidscape Claude Knights said sex offenders were ‘at their most volatile and dangerous whey they are living in chaotic and unsettled circumstances’.

She said authorities had a ‘duty of care to potential victims’ to make sure they are keeping track of offenders.

Mrs Knights added: “Registered sex offenders who are of no fixed abode are very difficult to assess and monitor.

“The multi-agency public protection arrangements, which are set in motion when sex offenders are released, depend upon the ability of the different agencies to have regular and sustained contact with those individuals.

“The safety of our communities depends on predators being on the appropriate radars.”

Margaret Morrissey of Parents Outloud said it was ‘scandalous’.

She added: “If there are sex offenders of no fixed abode, how can they be monitored effectively?”

According to the latest MAPPA report, there are 599 sex offenders in Dorset – an increase on the previous year.

Of those, 17 were cautioned for breach of notification requirements in 2012-2013.

Dorset Police say the number of sex offenders moving to Dorset changes all the time.

  • ANYONE convicted of a sexual offence after 1997 is on the sex offenders’ register.

Those sentenced to more than 30 months for a sexual offence are placed on the register indefinitely.

Those imprisoned for six months but less than 30 go on the register for 10 years.

Those sentenced to six months or less are on the register for seven years.

Prison for man who sparked police hunt

A SEX offender who sparked a police search when he went missing and turned up in Dorset has been jailed. Mark Gillard failed to comply with notice requirements to tell authorities where he lives, Dorchester Crown Court heard.

Gillard, of no fixed abode, was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite period when he committed rape in 1998.

Since then Gillard, 40, has had to tell police where he is living – something he has failed to do four times. Hampshire Police, the force dealing with the case, refused the Echo’s request for a photo of Gillard because his sentence was less than 12 months.

The court heard that Gillard was evicted from a council flat in Southampton in November for rent arrears he clocked up while in prison for another offence.

In accordance with the law, he had three days to register a new address or tell the police he was homeless, prosecutor Stuart Ellacott said.

But Gillard failed to comply and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Officers tracked him down on December 9 after he made an appointment with a job centre in Bournemouth, the court was told.

He told them he had moved to Dorset because he thought it would be easier to get work.

In mitigation, Kevin Hill said Gillard, who has 28 convictions for more than 70 offences, wanted to go back to prison because ‘otherwise he is homeless’.

He said the reason Gillard had failed to comply once in 2004 was because he was on bail for other matters and so thought police knew where he was.

On the other occasions – twice in March last year – the law had change and Gillard didn’t know what was required of him, Mr Hill said.

Jailing Gillard for six months for the latest breach, Judge Roger Jarvis said: “It would be plain to you what your obligations are and yet you failed to satisfy those obligations.”

Treatment shortage

AN investigation into rehabilitation of sex offenders has found that many are being released from prison without treatment.

The National Audit Office has warned that a shortage of places on treatment programmes will result in some prisoners reoffending.

It found that in some prisons, the waiting time for a place on a programme is 14 months.

Jon Brown, NSPCC lead on child sex abuse prevention, said: “If a sex offender is released from prison without having treatment it means they present the same level of risk to children as before they were sentenced.

“Sexual offending can be compulsive. Just locking paedophiles up won’t protect the public, because at some point nearly all of them will be released back into the community.

“Though we cannot completely eliminate risk, a lot can be done to minimise it.

“Sex offenders’ behaviour needs to be tackled on three fronts – punishment, treatment and monitoring on release. Treatment is an integral part of child protection and we weaken our defence if it is left out.”

Comments (17)

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7:14am Sat 8 Mar 14

cosmick says...

Put a tatoo on there forehead saying S/O would be a little harder to loose them then.
The system that is run in this country on all types of offenders is a joke.
Thanks to the E/U human rights and free movment of people including sex offenders.
They many be living next door to you and you would not even know.
Put a tatoo on there forehead saying S/O would be a little harder to loose them then. The system that is run in this country on all types of offenders is a joke. Thanks to the E/U human rights and free movment of people including sex offenders. They many be living next door to you and you would not even know. cosmick
  • Score: 4

7:31am Sat 8 Mar 14

Tonyglyn says...

Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article.
Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article. Tonyglyn
  • Score: 3

9:00am Sat 8 Mar 14

whatever66 says...

Missing for gods sake we are supposed to be a civilized country yet we let these perverts loose in our streets simple solution throw them all in jail with no possible release whats so ever......
Missing for gods sake we are supposed to be a civilized country yet we let these perverts loose in our streets simple solution throw them all in jail with no possible release whats so ever...... whatever66
  • Score: 5

9:57am Sat 8 Mar 14

3rdAccount says...

Sex offenders should never have no fixed abode. Their address should always be Prison for life........
Sex offenders should never have no fixed abode. Their address should always be Prison for life........ 3rdAccount
  • Score: 7

12:01pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Rocksalt says...

Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life.
Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life. Rocksalt
  • Score: 14

12:28pm Sat 8 Mar 14

kenny1990 says...

This is a easy one hang any sex offender, child killer or murderer and we want have this problem.
This is a easy one hang any sex offender, child killer or murderer and we want have this problem. kenny1990
  • Score: -10

12:51pm Sat 8 Mar 14

shy talk says...

Rocksalt wrote:
Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life.
Good point. Opinions seem to suggest that any categories of sex offence should be punished. Imprisonment, treatment and restriction of movement. However the Justice system should have the sanction of treatment by chemical removal of the offender’s libido.
[quote][p][bold]Rocksalt[/bold] wrote: Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life.[/p][/quote]Good point. Opinions seem to suggest that any categories of sex offence should be punished. Imprisonment, treatment and restriction of movement. However the Justice system should have the sanction of treatment by chemical removal of the offender’s libido. shy talk
  • Score: -2

2:13pm Sat 8 Mar 14

oldbrock says...

Once again the sex offender has MORE rights than those he/she can wander among, perhaps we need someone to die before things change?
Once again the sex offender has MORE rights than those he/she can wander among, perhaps we need someone to die before things change? oldbrock
  • Score: -5

10:51pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Tinker2 says...

Rocksalt wrote:
Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life.
Knee jerk reactors, the 'lock em up for life or hang em high' unfortunately speak from a standpoint of ignorance, rather than wisdom. The issues are far from black and white, there are a multitude of grey areas, each one of which presenting it's own difficulties and challenges.
[quote][p][bold]Rocksalt[/bold] wrote: Some of the contributors here might want to look up the categories of offence that are counted as sex offences before shouting their mouths off about people being kept in jail for life.[/p][/quote]Knee jerk reactors, the 'lock em up for life or hang em high' unfortunately speak from a standpoint of ignorance, rather than wisdom. The issues are far from black and white, there are a multitude of grey areas, each one of which presenting it's own difficulties and challenges. Tinker2
  • Score: 6

7:57am Sun 9 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

A young teacher who has an affair with a pupil would be considered a sex offender, even if he then went on to marry her (real example). It does not follow that all sex offenders are dangerous.
A young teacher who has an affair with a pupil would be considered a sex offender, even if he then went on to marry her (real example). It does not follow that all sex offenders are dangerous. JamesYoung
  • Score: 4

8:44am Sun 9 Mar 14

not too distant says...

Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell?
Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell? not too distant
  • Score: -9

9:44am Sun 9 Mar 14

Genghis says...

not too distant wrote:
Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell?
What Jon Brown actually said was:

“If a sex offender is released from prison without having treatment it means they present the same level of risk to children as before they were sentenced.

“Sexual offending can be compulsive. Just locking paedophiles up won’t protect the public, because at some point nearly all of them will be released back into the community.

“Though we cannot completely eliminate risk, a lot can be done to minimise it.

“Sex offenders’ behaviour needs to be tackled on three fronts – punishment, treatment and monitoring on release. Treatment is an integral part of child protection and we weaken our defence if it is left out.”
[quote][p][bold]not too distant[/bold] wrote: Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell?[/p][/quote]What Jon Brown actually said was: “If a sex offender is released from prison without having treatment it means they present the same level of risk to children as before they were sentenced. “Sexual offending can be compulsive. Just locking paedophiles up won’t protect the public, because at some point nearly all of them will be released back into the community. “Though we cannot completely eliminate risk, a lot can be done to minimise it. “Sex offenders’ behaviour needs to be tackled on three fronts – punishment, treatment and monitoring on release. Treatment is an integral part of child protection and we weaken our defence if it is left out.” Genghis
  • Score: -1

8:08pm Sun 9 Mar 14

westbaywonder says...

Tonyglyn wrote:
Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article.
Hey Tony, Maggie has been very busy in her Poundbury kitchen baking cakes again for Charlie boy,thats why the Echo used the photo of (looking sexy as ever) from when she was moaning about traffic.
Very busy girl, if not baking cakes, she can be often found at the new wine bar in Dorchester mixing it with the hooray henry types.
See you later Tony,i like your style mate.
[quote][p][bold]Tonyglyn[/bold] wrote: Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article.[/p][/quote]Hey Tony, Maggie has been very busy in her Poundbury kitchen baking cakes again for Charlie boy,thats why the Echo used the photo of (looking sexy as ever) from when she was moaning about traffic. Very busy girl, if not baking cakes, she can be often found at the new wine bar in Dorchester mixing it with the hooray henry types. See you later Tony,i like your style mate. westbaywonder
  • Score: 5

10:05pm Sun 9 Mar 14

babaswim says...

Why not cut off their benefits once they disappear or don't comply? The easy why to ensure compliance
Why not cut off their benefits once they disappear or don't comply? The easy why to ensure compliance babaswim
  • Score: -1

6:36am Mon 10 Mar 14

Tonyglyn says...

westbaywonder wrote:
Tonyglyn wrote:
Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article.
Hey Tony, Maggie has been very busy in her Poundbury kitchen baking cakes again for Charlie boy,thats why the Echo used the photo of (looking sexy as ever) from when she was moaning about traffic.
Very busy girl, if not baking cakes, she can be often found at the new wine bar in Dorchester mixing it with the hooray henry types.
See you later Tony,i like your style mate.
Thanks for the Mozzer update. I find it sad that she's way too busy these days to carry on her Christmas tradition of berating local people and companies for not diggng into their own pockets to pay for Christmas lights in town.

I guess complaining about road safety, travellers, the McCanns and Call the Midwife comes first these days.
[quote][p][bold]westbaywonder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tonyglyn[/bold] wrote: Insightful comments as ever from Margaret Morrissey OBE - it's lucky that the Echo were able to get hold of her for this article.[/p][/quote]Hey Tony, Maggie has been very busy in her Poundbury kitchen baking cakes again for Charlie boy,thats why the Echo used the photo of (looking sexy as ever) from when she was moaning about traffic. Very busy girl, if not baking cakes, she can be often found at the new wine bar in Dorchester mixing it with the hooray henry types. See you later Tony,i like your style mate.[/p][/quote]Thanks for the Mozzer update. I find it sad that she's way too busy these days to carry on her Christmas tradition of berating local people and companies for not diggng into their own pockets to pay for Christmas lights in town. I guess complaining about road safety, travellers, the McCanns and Call the Midwife comes first these days. Tonyglyn
  • Score: 3

4:09am Thu 13 Mar 14

westbaywonder says...

babaswim wrote:
Why not cut off their benefits once they disappear or don't comply? The easy why to ensure compliance
She got a little upset a couple of summers back when a few of the boys from the Emerald Isle parked an Audi convertible and Range Rover Sport at the back of MaccyD,s at the monkey,

Then it was pointed out to her that along with the rest of the gear on that field the value would far exceed anything parked at Poundbury at the time.LOL!
[quote][p][bold]babaswim[/bold] wrote: Why not cut off their benefits once they disappear or don't comply? The easy why to ensure compliance[/p][/quote]She got a little upset a couple of summers back when a few of the boys from the Emerald Isle parked an Audi convertible and Range Rover Sport at the back of MaccyD,s at the monkey, Then it was pointed out to her that along with the rest of the gear on that field the value would far exceed anything parked at Poundbury at the time.LOL! westbaywonder
  • Score: 1

9:39am Thu 13 Mar 14

Parkstreetshufle says...

Genghis wrote:
not too distant wrote:
Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell?
What Jon Brown actually said was:

“If a sex offender is released from prison without having treatment it means they present the same level of risk to children as before they were sentenced.

“Sexual offending can be compulsive. Just locking paedophiles up won’t protect the public, because at some point nearly all of them will be released back into the community.

“Though we cannot completely eliminate risk, a lot can be done to minimise it.

“Sex offenders’ behaviour needs to be tackled on three fronts – punishment, treatment and monitoring on release. Treatment is an integral part of child protection and we weaken our defence if it is left out.”
At the risk of the pedophiles being beaten up by people thinking they are doing the right thing, Id still prefer to see them in the community where we can see them and keep an eye on them. That way they cannot offend. Thats what seemed to happen in previous decades. The problem with institutions is that they allow the doctors and staff to see them as an entity remote from society, a specimen, and really they should be treating them as someone they live with that has a very serious problem. We would see some motivation in getting them cured then.
When they disappear like this it makes my blood run cold. They could pop up anywhere and do anything - its just doesn't bear thinking about. They could snatch a child and disappear again.
I think these types are less of a problem as they either want to be cured of their affliction and live a terrible life, or they are too stupid. The pedophiles we should fear are the ones that are intelligent and don't get caught. Ones like Jimmy Saville that have a position of public respect. They always gravitate to positions of authority - the church is riddled with pedophiles, as is the mental health service. We need to start examining who we trust as a society. A uniform does not necissarily make someone trustworthy or safe with kids.
[quote][p][bold]Genghis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]not too distant[/bold] wrote: Jon Brown from the NSPCC says that locking people up is pointless and doesn't work. All I can say is I hope Mr Browns position is voluntary, because he is a complete tool and undeserving of any level of wage. So how exactly do you 'treat' a paedophile? Or a rapist? Or any other twisted sexual predator? Mr Brown has clearly stumbled upon something new and revolutionary, so please, do tell?[/p][/quote]What Jon Brown actually said was: “If a sex offender is released from prison without having treatment it means they present the same level of risk to children as before they were sentenced. “Sexual offending can be compulsive. Just locking paedophiles up won’t protect the public, because at some point nearly all of them will be released back into the community. “Though we cannot completely eliminate risk, a lot can be done to minimise it. “Sex offenders’ behaviour needs to be tackled on three fronts – punishment, treatment and monitoring on release. Treatment is an integral part of child protection and we weaken our defence if it is left out.”[/p][/quote]At the risk of the pedophiles being beaten up by people thinking they are doing the right thing, Id still prefer to see them in the community where we can see them and keep an eye on them. That way they cannot offend. Thats what seemed to happen in previous decades. The problem with institutions is that they allow the doctors and staff to see them as an entity remote from society, a specimen, and really they should be treating them as someone they live with that has a very serious problem. We would see some motivation in getting them cured then. When they disappear like this it makes my blood run cold. They could pop up anywhere and do anything - its just doesn't bear thinking about. They could snatch a child and disappear again. I think these types are less of a problem as they either want to be cured of their affliction and live a terrible life, or they are too stupid. The pedophiles we should fear are the ones that are intelligent and don't get caught. Ones like Jimmy Saville that have a position of public respect. They always gravitate to positions of authority - the church is riddled with pedophiles, as is the mental health service. We need to start examining who we trust as a society. A uniform does not necissarily make someone trustworthy or safe with kids. Parkstreetshufle
  • Score: 0

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