Dear Editor, Following recent media reporting on the number of missing sex offenders in the West Midlands area, I would like to clarify our position on this matter.

Public protection remains at the heart of multi-agency working with high-risk violent and sexual offenders within the West Midlands.

These arrangements are led by the probation, police and prison services working together in partnership with a range of local agencies including local authorities.

Locally based public protection officers are actively involved in the day-to-day management of registered sex offenders. This is done as part of a well-established local system of multi-agency working.

Whilst risk of harm can never be eliminated fully, we consider that our local arrangements significantly help to reduce the opportunity to re-offend.

At the core of our work is our joint unit of police and probation staff who co-ordinate arrangements and offer expert guidance and support to agency colleagues across the area.

Registered sexual offenders are managed under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and are divided into three levels: Level 1 – an offender who presents a low or medium risk of causing serious harm, these are managed by a relevant agency

Level 2 – an offender who is a high risk of causing serious harm and requires active management from many agencies

Level 3 – an offender who is high or very high risk of causing serious harm and can only be managed actively by many agencies at a senior level within those agencies

Of the 34 missing registered sex offenders, 18 are known to be abroad. Of the 34, 30 are level one offenders, three are level two and one is a level three.

The level three offender is believed to be in Spain.

Efforts are continuing to extradite him with the assistance of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Our aim is to protect the public and increase public confidence.

We would like to reassure people that every effort is being made to locate all of these offenders through a series of ongoing operations.

Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Hyde

West Midlands Police


Run the airport you have correctly before expanding

Dear Editor, Secretary James Botham makes some fair points about aspects of Birmingham International Airport expansion plans but suggests that growth of interior services should continue (Letters, Dec 5).

Well up to a point James. Even infrequent users of BIA will share horror tales of huge delays at security, immigration arrivals, carousel luggage collection or public transport bays.

To console folk with catering facilities may require firstly finding a viable second mortgage lender.

At least Dick Turpin wore a mask! On a recent inbound flight from Derry others and I waited ten minutes on the shuttle buses due to all Domestic Arrival doors being locked.

An elderly woman who had requested assistance – which hadn’t arrived either – thought that perhaps BIA hadn’t been expecting our flight!

Hopefully air traffic control is better organised? Each door we faced a mystery pad number to the staff adding to the delays and in their help or cowardice we were herded towards international arrivals via ramps and narrow dirty alleyways only to be turned back by their staff. Eventually escaping out into the groundside I estimated that the mystery tour at BIA had taken longer than the flight.

Like Mr Botham I wouldn’t extend the runway but like many I wouldn’t even extend managers contracts until they can run what they’ve currently got.

Steve Kirkham


MP David Winnick is an asset and we are lucky to have him

Dear Editor, Three cheers for MP David Winnick, the only Labour MP to stand up in Parliament and show concern and annoyance at the way the police had acted within that place against an opposition MP. He is an asset to politics and this town and we are lucky to have him representing us. His speech certainly showed up the rest of his Labour colleagues for what they really think about the issue and shame on them.

David is that type of rare left wing MP, probably only seen in a few others like Tam Dyall and Tony Benn – what you see and what he says is what you get. Richard Shepherd, of Aldridge, is probably the same type of MP on the Tory benches. They are both highly respected in Westminster and beyond and we are pretty lucky in this part of the world to have such MPs.

I have an old book by Nye Bevan called In Place Of Fear on my shelf in my study. I am positive Nye would be quite proud of David’s passionate stance against this latest disgraceful debacle. Another former MP who would probably feel sympathies for David’s stance would be his predecessor John Stonehouse, who was hounded out of Southern Rhodesia in the 1950s by the colonial government run by Sir Roy Welensky, who was opposed to any type of criticism and opposition.

In many respects, when I first heard about the Damian Green affair, I thought I was hearing a news item about Mugabe and his merry tricks in Zimbabwe. A man who learned much about control and tyranny from Sir Roy Welensky and his colonial henchmen.

Regarding the situation in Parliament at present, I recommend a strong amount of bleach to clean out the microbes and bacteria from all the nooks and crannies of the whole system. Especially those microbes and bacteria which have lingered for far too long in unwanted areas and are prone to cause long term diseases.

Once this has been achieved, then a good old fashioned election is required with soap boxes and the truth for good measure. Remember all that?

The present home secretary’s [Jacqui Smith] pathetic response to the whole Damian Green

fiasco and the way the police entered Parliament to arrest him beggars total and utter belief.

She said in the Chamber recently something to the tune of – even if she had known about the police action she SHOULD NOT and COULD NOT not do anything to stop it happening. What a load of baloney!

I have always felt that this excuse for a home secretary has as much passion for law and order and Parliamentary democracy and freedoms as the old communist guard who ran Poland when my mother-in-law lived there during the 50s. Perhaps she should start from scratch again and concentrate on reading books about Oliver Cromwell and the birth of democracy, rather than Orwell’s 1984, which is probably a book she has studied over and over again.

Ian Payne,

Thornbury Road