Havering has most disclosures of sex offenders in London

Det Insp Jo Van Der Waag

Det Insp Jo Van Der Waag - Credit: Archant

Havering has had more disclosures about high-risk sex offenders than any other London borough – but police were unaware of the fact.

Freedom of Information figures released by the Met reveal five of the 14 disclosures under Sarah’s Law have been in the borough.

The disclosure scheme, named after eight-year-old murder victim Sarah Payne, was launched in May 2011 to allow a parent or guardian to ask police if a person who has contact with children is a sex offender.

Speaking to the Recorder, Det Insp Jo Van Der Waag said Havering Police “weren’t aware” it had the most disclosures, and had no explanation, but insisted there was no problem in the area.

“We had no idea we were the most in the Met,” she said. “I have no explanation, there is not a problem. The two teams that work in that area, our Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash) and the Jigsaw police team, work very hard.

“Most of the time requests are from partners whose children live with new partners. But anyone can make a request. Disclosures are made when there is a real risk.

“We are quite shocked Havering is the worst – but it’s still small numbers.”

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Since 2011, 219 requests have been made in the capital, with 20 in Havering.

One disclosure was made last year and in 2012, with three in 2013. The only other boroughs with more than one disclosure were Barnet and Enfield, with two each.

Det Insp Van Der Waag went on to explain the process behind the scheme.

“When a request is made it goes off to Mash who will find out why they are requesting. They will have a face to face with the person requesting it, but it’s not always that person that gets told.”