111 sex abuse and domestic violence offenders in Derry & Strabane area

The Guildhall.

The Guildhall.

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Derry & Strabane Council has been told there are 111 sex abuse and domestic violence offenders within the area.

The majority of these - 105- are deemed Category One risk offenders, with five others in Category Two.

The figures only relate to those who have been successfully prosecuted and not those going through the system at present.

The figures were released during a presentation before the Council’s Health and Community Committee by representatives from the Public Protection Arrangements NI (PPANI) group at the Guildhall on Thursday.

Julie Smyth, PPANI Co-ordinator said the PPANI was a set of arrangements which required statutory agencies with responsibility for child protection and criminal justice to work together to protect the public.

There are three categories of offenders, ascending in severity, with Category One involving “someone whose previous offending, current behaviour and current circumstances present little evidence that they will cause serious harm.”

The second category involves “someone whose previous offending, current behaviour and current circumstances present clear and identifiable evidence that they could cause serious harm through carrying out a contact sexual or violent crime.”

There are no registered Category 3 offenders- the highest level- in the council area.

Various councillors at the meeting voiced the concerns of local people around sex offenders moving into their areas or being housed near to their victims.

SF Councillor Karina Carlin said the impact of the person of the perpetrator coming back into the community is immense and in one case she knew of, resulted in a woman dying by suicide.

Ms Smyth and PSNI Detective Inspector Tara Swann outlined a succession of formal initiatives by authorities over the years to safeguard communities and ensure offenders are continually monitored and assessed.