Barnardo’s calls for sex offenders’ units

Children’s charity Barnardo’s is calling for a network of
residential treatment centres to back up the sex offenders
register, which this week marks its fifth anniversary.

The call follows the closure in July of the Wolvercote Clinic, in
Surrey, which was the only unit offering residential treatment
facilities for sex offenders in the UK, apart from those offered in

More than 26 prisons run intervention courses but with more than
18,500 people listed on the sex offenders register, Barnardo’s
believes there is not enough help.

Principal policy officer Tink Palmer said: “The residential element
of any treatment programme is crucial to enable intensive work on
an offender’s behaviour. There are some facilities available in
prison but people may not be in prison long enough to be offered

The charity is also calling for a public awareness campaign to
highlight the fact that most children are abused by someone known
to them, and that the majority of child abusers are never

“The sex offenders register is just one part of the child
protection jigsaw, and we all need to be vigilant in protecting
children from those people who never come before the courts. They
cannot be checked against any register or official list to check
whether they remain a threat to children,” said Palmer.

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