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Elliot House

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department since what date sex offenders have been housed in Elliot House in Birmingham; what causes for concern have been drawn to his Department’s attention since that time; what his rationale is for deciding that such offenders should no longer be housed in this hostel; and what steps are being taken to ensure that the risk of their re-offending is minimised. (80055)

Elliott House opened as a bail hostel in June 1993 and, from the outset, accommodated individuals on bail with mental disorders. In June 1994, it was re-designated as a probation and bail hostel. In August 2001, it was re-designated as an approved premises, this permits the site to be used for accommodating persons granted bail in criminal proceedings and persons convicted of offences in connection with their supervision or rehabilitation. Since Elliott House opened in June 1993, it has housed a range of individuals including those either charged with sex offences and on bail or, since August 2001, those on licence from custody having been convicted of sex offences.

The Home Department has not collated any concerns that have been raised about the presence of sex offenders in Elliott House. There has been no recorded incident of sexual offending by any resident against the community.

Certain sex and violent offenders are accommodated in approved premises in order to provide public protection. Offenders may be closely monitored and supervised in approved premises, in order to ensure compliance with their licence conditions and to ensure that swift enforcement action is taken, where offenders’ behaviour presents a risk of harm to the public.

It is important that the public feels secure. In order to maintain public confidence in our systems for managing the risks posed by such offenders, it was decided that child sex offenders should no longer be housed in approved premises that are immediately adjacent to schools and nurseries.

Offenders will be moved from Elliott House following a thorough risk assessment once suitable alternative accommodation has been found, where supervision and treatment may continue. The supervision and treatment are both necessary to address the offender’s risk of re-offending.