PAEDOPHILES IN OUR MIDST

MP David Simpson has demanded to know how many paedophiles are living in the Banbridge district.

His call comes in the same week that MASRAM, the group set up to monitor sex offenders in Northern Ireland, confirmed the presence of a number of paedophiles in the local area.

And to keep track of these evil monsters each has a specially designed management plan.

The issue was raised recently at a meeting of Banbridge District Policing Partnership when a member of the public asked local police chief Christine McCullough how many paedophiles were living in the district amid growing concerns that more are being moved into the area.

She will report back at the next meeting of the DPP, although Mr Simpson, DUP Upper Bann MP, wants answers sooner.

Experts claim 80 per cent of sexual offences go unreported, meaning it is almost impossible to gauge how many paedophiles are at large in the district.

But a MASRAM spokesperson said: "I can confirm that there is a small number of sex offenders living in the Banbridge area who have been subject to the MASRAM process.

"All have undergone risk assessments and each has an individually tailored risk management plan, the detail and extent of which is determined by the risk category."

Mr Simpson has tabled a question at Westminster asking the Secretary of State to declare exactly how many paedophiles are living in each council area.

"These are disturbing findings and made all the more so by the fact that the general public hasn't any idea of where these people are," said Mr Simpson.

"I have already tabled a question at Westminster and await the Secretary of State's response with interest."

Since 2001 there has been a well-defined system in place in Northern Ireland for assessing and managing the risk posed by sex offenders.

Known as the Multi-Agency Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (MASRAM) arrangements, the process assesses the risk posed by every sex offender and allows an appropriate risk management plan to be prepared and delivered.

The primary purpose of the risk assessment and risk management of sex offenders or Potentially Dangerous Persons (PDPs) is to help protect the public from harm by reducing the offender's/PDP's opportunity and/or inclination to re-offend.

To read more information and statistics about sex offending in Northern Ireland and for more background information about MASRAM log on to www.banbridgeleader.co.uk