More violence and sex offenders join North East’s list of shame

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A NEW report reveals 1,385 registered violent and sexual offenders are living in the Northumbria Police force area.

Figures from the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa), which includes the police, probation and prison services, showed an increase from 1,352 last year.

The statistics also reveal 17 “high risk” offenders committed further crimes, compared to 46 in 2010.

Across the force area, which includes Sunderland and South Tyneside, 1,038 offenders are on the sex offenders register, up from 978.

Northumbria Police are introducing new arrangements for protecting vulnerable people within the Mappa framework.

The Echo was told that no specific figures were available for those managed in Sunderland, despite the information being released in previous years.

This week, the force introduced a new Protecting Vulnerable People unit in Southwick, plus one in North Tyneside.

It is hoped they will allow more monitoring of licence conditions, including surveillance and covert investigation.

Assistant Chief Constable Jim Campbell said: “The new structure will allow us to work more closely with our partners and take a more proactive approach to offender management.”

Registered sex offenders are subject to risk management monitored by specially trained “risk management officers”.

They are also required to notify police of their name, address and other personal details, as well as any changes.

Other tools include sexual offences prevention orders, which can include additional conditions imposed by courts.

During 2010 to 2011, 66 were issued, just one more than the previous year..

Wynne McLean, head of public protection at Northumbria Probation Trust, said: “Over the past 10 years, Mappa in Northumbria has become an extremely effective and robust system for managing violent and sexual offenders.

“It utilises the skills, expertise and resources of a wide network of agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors.”

In County Durham, there are 718 registered violent and sexual offenders, up from 576 last year.

Mappa bosses claim this is down to more vigilant work carried out to catch and manage those behind attacks.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jane Spraggon, director of crime and justice at Durham Police, said: “We are proud of our achievements in the area of public protection.

“We are working hard to develop new processes for early identification and intervention with violent and dangerous offenders, to ensure that we are maximising opportunities to reduce the risk that those offenders pose.

“For example, within the area of domestic abuse, we are targeting some of our efforts in the area of high volume, low risk cases, working to prevent the escalation of these offences into cases that would ultimately require referrals into Mappa.”

There are 475 registered sex offenders in County Durham, up 70.

“This number is unlikely to fall in the near future mainly due to the very lengthy registration period which some offenders face,” added Det Ch Supt Spraggon.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho

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A PENSIONER who assaulted a man during a visit to a recycling plant is among those monitored by MAPPA.

Edward Charlton tried to cuddle and kiss his victim during the incident, which saw a judge label his actions “weird”.

The 72-year-old, of Edward Burdis Street, Southwick, admitted sexual assault when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year.

The court heard Charlton has 74 previous convictions, eight of which are for sexual offences.

Judge Guy Whitburn told Charlton: “Eccentric, fun loving? Maybe. Weird? Certainly.

“This was totally inappropriate behaviour.”

Judge Whitburn sentenced Charlton to a community order, with probation service supervision for three years.

He also signed the sex offenders’ register for five years as a result of the conviction.