Tuesday, May 03, 2016

British police chief admits his force was wrong to try to keep Polish rapist's identity a secret in case he was attacked in town riven by tensions over Eastern European migrants

A police chief has admitted his force were wrong to try to keep the identity of a Polish sex offender secret over 'community tension' concerns.

Derbyshire constabulary applied for 20-year-old Marcin Jaworski to be added to the sex offenders register but asked for the hearing to be held behind closed doors.

They said the rapist ‘lives in an area where there are high tensions between the Polish and British communities, to the extent that there have been episodes of violence between the groups’.

In a statement today, Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon admitted the coverage of the hearing 'reflects a mistake' made by the constabulary.

Chief Constable Creedon said: 'With all sex offender management we are seeking to protect the vulnerable, especially children.

'The media coverage of the recent hearing reflects a mistake made by the Derbyshire Constabulary.

'The reasons for the application were well-intentioned and reflected our concerns about some recent local community tensions, but the media was right to challenge this and the court was right to reject the application.

'He has no right to secrecy. Whilst we were concerned that a community protest might drive him underground, he should not have been afforded any protection other than that given to any other offender placed on the sex offenders register.'

The application for Jaworski’s hearing to be held in private was rejected by the court after The Times and other publications argued that it had breached the principle of open justice.

The Mansfield Chad, a local newspaper, also argued that the publication of the case was in the interest of public safety and that keeping it secret would hamper an investigation into why Jaworski was allowed to live in the UK.

Rejecting the application for a reporting restriction District Judge Andrew Davison told Chesterfield magistrates’ court: ‘A fundamental principle is open justice which is the hallmark of the law. The media plays a vital role in the upholding of that principle on behalf of the public.’

Reporting restrictions were requested in the case because of concerns raised by local officers, Superintendent Jim Allen said.

'There have been widely reported community tensions in the Shirebrook area, in the past, linked to the large number of Eastern European people who now live and work in the area,' he said.

'We respect the decision of the judge who ruled the case should be heard without restriction.'

He continued: 'As a result of proactive policing, Marcin Jaworski was questioned after being found drinking in a prohibited area within Shirebrook. Further checks revealed he had a conviction for a sexual offence in Poland.

'We applied for the notification order to ask magistrates to allow us to require Marcin Jaworski to sign the sexual offenders register.

'This would ensure that he has to abide by the restrictions of the register and be monitored in the community by the police.'

Original report here

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