I issued the following press release on 22.06.2006
POLICY ON PAEDOPHILES IS BEING MADE ON THE HOOF SAYS BIRMINGHAM MP, LYNNE JONES
My colleague Andrew Miller asks (see item from Commons news
service 'Gallery News' below) whether any critic of the decision to
withdraw services supervising sex offenders near schools, to manage sex offenders, would
want their children to attend a centre, or school, next door. But the question that
needs to be posed is in what way will the measures proposed by the Home Secretary actually
make children safer? I support the comments made by the Chief Constable of
Dyfed-Powys Police, Terry Grange. You have to be brave to speak out on these issues
and not afraid to counter bad publicity in the tabloid press. The bail hostel in my
constituency, Elliot House, has been doing excellent work with offenders, some of whom
have been sex offenders, for many years. In the 14 years that I have been the MP for
the area, I have had no complaints about the Hostel and the Head of the day nursery next
door has stated on local TV that she would rather know that offenders are and that they
are being supervised. She told me that she cannot fault the management of the
hostel. Whilst no one would positively welcome the idea of a paedophile living in
their locality, in any densely populated area this is likely to be the case.
On Tuesday I tabled the following parliamentary question:
Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak):To ask the Secretary of
State for the Home Department, since what date sex offenders have been housed in Elliot
House in Birmingham; what causes for concern have been drawn to his Department's attention
since that time; what his rationale is for deciding that such offenders should no longer
be housed in this hostel; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the risk of their
re-offending is minimised. (80055)
There is no residential area in the country without children.
The fact is, wherever these hostels are, there will be children living nearby.
Withdrawing much-needed services provided by a hostel just because it is near a
school gives a false sense of security - such measures will make it more, not less
difficult to monitor and supervise sex offenders when they have finished their sentences.
There are already calls for the closure of other local hostels not included in John
Reid's list but having schools nearby (it's impossible not to in an urban area).
This policy is whipping up anxiety which could well lead to a decline in effective
supervision work and more released offenders disappearing into the community. What
is important is not the location but whether there are effective controls and supervision
In my view any dangerous paedophile who has not accepted his
offending behaviour and who is therefore likely to reoffend should not be released from
custody at all and I support such people being given indeterminate sentences, a measure
introduced by the Government. Where a child sex offender is assessed as being of low
risk if supervised, they have to live somewhere and I would therefore prefer them to be
under close supervision at experienced centres that have the necessary expertise to make
provision for their continued rehabilitation.
From: Gallery News
Sent: 21 June 2006 12:18
Subject: PAEDOPHILES: MP condemns police chief
PAEDOPHILES: MP condemns police chief
Ellesmere Port and Neston Labour MP Andrew Miller has written to
Home Office minister Gerry Sutcliffe complaining about 'misleading and inaccurate'
reporting of the sex offender issues.
He says he resents being accused by the Chief Constable of
Dyfed-Powys Police, Terry Grange, who said the Home Office had 'surrendered' power over
policy to the News of the World, who have been campaigning for a Megan's Law to publish
the whereabouts of paedophiles.
Mr Miller writes, " I am writing to you to express my concern
about the misleading and inaccurate media reports relating to your announcement on sex
offenders and bail hostels. I resent the accusation from a Chief Constable that I am being
driven by the News of the World or indeed any other newspaper.
" Your records will show that I had a meeting with Paul
Goggins in September 2004 after the Probation Service first tried to extend the existing
agreement about Bunbury House in Ellesmere Port.
" Furthermore I spoke to Paul's successor and then you
without any reference to the media even at a local level. The initial meeting took place
at my request as I was concerned that the proposal from the Probation Service had not been
thought through in a holistic manner, especially as the hostel is in a very disadvantaged
area and next door to the first children's centre in Cheshire.
" My views were backed by Margaret Hodge as the then
" I am therefore delighted that HMG has now not only blocked
this proposed change but made it clear that no child sex offenders will be placed at
" I would ask that as a matter of urgency the public record
is corrected as I think it would be inappropriate for the Chief Constable's view to be
regarded as fact when manifestly that is not true."
Mr Miller told Gallery News, " I find it astonishing that the
Chief Constable, or anybody else, could criticise the Government's decision. Would any
such critic want their children to attend a centre, or school, next door to an institution
" The Government's action is not pandering to the News of the
World, it has responded to the commonsense argument I have been presenting for a number of
years, which I know will be fully supported within my constituency."
GALLERY NEWS, HOUSE OF COMMONS