Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell has given support to a new 24-hour telephone line to prevent sex offenders from abusing children at a meeting with NSPCC sexual abuse prevention lead Jon Brown and Pat Royal, Head of Birmingham Probation at Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.
Held at Andrew Mitchell MP’s constituency office in Sutton Coldfield, the meeting presented an opportunity to discuss the Offence Prevention Line pilot, which the NSPCC is delivering across the West Midlands and Derbyshire in partnership with Staffordshire and West Midlands, West Mercia, Warwickshire and Derbyshire Probation Trusts.
The two-year pilot aims to build on probation service sex offender supervision by providing an extra safety net to prevent sex offenders going on to sexually abuse a child.
Andrew Mitchell MP said: “The Offence Prevention Line is a useful addition to the systems that are already in place to protect children from sexual abuse. It is a good example of an initiative which demonstrates that through innovative partnership working, new ways of protecting children can be tested and developed.”
NSPCC sexual abuse lead Jon Brown said: “We welcome Andrew Mitchell MP’s support for the development of the Offence Prevention Line.
“Some child sex offenders want to stop harming children and evidence shows they can, but they need monitoring and supervision to do this.
“We think more children will be protected if offenders can contact a round-the-clock telephone line. By building on probation service sex offender supervision in this way we could prevent sex offenders going on to sexually abuse a child.
“If the Offence Prevention Line does receive information about a child at risk from a user of the service we will act to protect the child.
“We will talk to the National Offender Management Service about making a 24-hour telephone line available to all sex offenders under probation supervision if it proves to be an effective sexual abuse prevention tool.”
Pat Royal, Head of Birmingham Probation at Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust said: “SWM Probation and the NSPCC have the same priority - to prevent children being the victims of sex offences. Probation Trusts have robust measures in place so we can effectively manage sex offenders in the community. This pilot will help to support those measures.”