Stay Away: Parents’ fears over possible ex-sex offender links

Market Rasen Foyer EMN-150629-165828001
Market Rasen Foyer EMN-150629-165828001
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Parents are worried that from today convicted sex offenders could be among the homeless at the Market Rasen Foyer.

Sources close to the Foyer have told the Rasen Mail ex-sex offenders will be referred to the King Street facility when it becomes a ‘homeless hostel’.

Neither Axiom Housing Association, which manages the Foyer, or Lincolnshire County Council, which is responsible for referrals, have denied this.

A worried parent, who lives nearby, said: “It’ll make life a bit unbearable to be honest, we’re all very

frightened.

“A lot of children play in the gardens that are overlooked by the Foyer.

“I’m seriously debating moving house as it looks like there’s not a lot we can do about it.

“Something terrible will have to happen before they realise it’s no place for convicted sex offenders. I just hope it doesn’t end up with one of the kids being abused.”

The parent, who did not want to be named, said a lot of children walk past the Foyer on their way to school.

She said: “With ex-sex offenders in there, how long before they’re watching the

kids.

“The proximity to the primary school is a big

concern.”

Up until today, the Foyer has provided accommodation for 16 to 25 year olds who have needed support before living alone.

But now it will take homeless 18 to 40 year olds - and will have CCTV and be staffed 24/7.

Axiom supported housing manager Karen Chambers said: “The change to the age of people we will provide accommodation for at Market Rasen is in direct response to a local need for additional emergency and non-emergency housing.

“Applicants are referred to us by Lincolnshire County Council and a full risk and needs assessment is always carried out regardless of a person’s age or background.

“If anyone is deemed to be a risk to the local community we would refer their application back to the county council and work in partnership with our colleagues to reach a decision about the appropriate form of housing for that person.”

LCC executive councillor for adult care and health Patricia Bradwell said the “eligibility criteria” for people staying at the Foyer had changed.

She said: “We assessed the housing support we had been providing for young people at risk of homelessness aged 16-17 and care leavers in Lincolnshire, and are now providing them with accommodation that is more suitable and targeted to their specific needs. In Market Rasen, under-18s living at the Foyer will move to purpose-built housing tailored for them in areas close to employment and support networks.

“For adults, referrals for short-term or longer-term stays will come from professionals working with vulnerable individuals at risk of homelessness – be that district councils, health professionals, the prison service and many others. There is accommodation for people in need in every district of Lincolnshire, and in every case a full and robust needs and risk assessment is carried out by the potential provider. This will determine if this type of accommodation in the community is suitable for them.

“There will be times when this is not the case, and we will then work with the referrer to find the best solution for the individual. Housing providers and ourselves will work with other agencies and services to seek out the best support package for individuals and their needs.”