THIS MORNING (Jul 13) at 9:30am, around one hundred protesters returned to the council offices in Pembroke Dock for a meeting with police and Pembrokeshire County Council spokespersons. On arrival, they were informed that there was not enough space within the building and a handful of protesters would be allowed in.
The group, lead again by Charlie Price, declined this offer, and moved to outside the police station, where they told officers that any meeting would have to take place outside in public for all of the protesters to participate in.
With the protesters assuring the police that the protest would remain peaceful, the group cheered as it was announced that Superintendent Ian John and Kerry Macdermott, Head of Housing and Revenue Services for Pembrokeshire County Council, would be arriving shortly.
Supt. John said: “The two residents of that flat, as it stands, neither of those two people, were actually currently on the sex offender’s register.”
“The facts are, they were not on the sex offender’s register. It would be inappropriate for me to go into specific detail, but what I will say, the lady who moved in with the gentleman who is the tenant of the flat, was not required to record her movements, as she would have been if she was on the sex offenders register.
“She was not placed there. She placed herself there.”
Supt. John then went on to warn about the dangers of so-called sex offender registers which can be found on the internet, which were not official police sources and potentially ‘not current or accurate’.
Mr Macdermott said: “It is no different to having a relationship and your partner moving in. That’s what has appeared to have happened her.
“For whatever reason, the tenant has allowed that person to move in with him.
“I also manage the housing benefits as well, so I can speak with knowledge, there are many cases where a single tenant, and there is another tenant who moves in as a partner, we would not necessarily put them as joint tenants for a whole raft of legal reasons.
“She wasn’t declared as living at the property and the tenancy was not changed.”
The group then described an alleged incident in which they claimed to have ‘ran out’ a paedophile from his home the night before (Jul 12), who drove to the police station and slept in the car park.
Supt John responded by warning against any vigilante actions: “Let me just say, for anyone who commits any criminal offences, we will deal with it. If anybody at all considers taking the law into their own hand, that is the wrong thing to do, you know that.
“We have a good relationship with the people in Monkton. We want to work with everyone and keep everyone safe, but there are laws in this country which protect people.
“It is not up to me or you which punishment or control people have, we have to work together safely, and I’m telling you we will continue to do that.
“It is your duty as citizens to work together with us. By talking about taking the law into your own hands… you are putting yourself at risk.”
He then went on to reassure the group that since Tuesday night, Dyfed-Powys Police had conducted extensive research into the woman’s situation: “The circumstances of the individual we are talking about have been thoroughly looked in the last 24 hours. Prior to that we had some contact with her locally, but what we did not know was the details of that background.”
Mr Macdermott then offered financial support to the group, who earlier in the morning had been talking about raising funds for charity: “If you set up a committee with Pearl on the committee, there are certain funds we can make available to you. I am prepared to come down and help you, help raise funds, and provide monies for charities.”
Mr Price, and many of the members of the group, saw this as an attempt of ‘paying off’ their cause, and declined: “We appreciate the offer, we are glad to know you are willing to sit down and talk to use. One thing we don’t want is the council to pay us off, so thank you for your offer, but we don’t need your money.”
A local resident, Annalee, then spoke of her experience with the sex offenders register after he daughter was sexually assaulted: “Fifteen years ago my daughter was sexually assaulted by a cousin. He only got put on the sex offenders register for five years, because he admitted doing the crime and was 15. He did his five years, and then went into the army.
“He used a different name – that wasn’t policed. He’s come out of the army, re-offended, and is now back on the sex offenders register for another five years.
“The law needs to change. If the law was how it is in England and Scotland, and there was more of a punishment, perhaps he wouldn’t have come out of the army and re-offended.
“I went to court 18 months ago after he was caught re-offending, it was a court in England, the Judge couldn’t believe why he was only on the register for the severity of the case against my daughter for just five years.”
Following the conclusion of the meeting, Cllr Pearl Llewellyn said: “I am here for Monkton. I support you 100%, but this has to be a peaceful demonstration – you won’t get anywhere with shouting.
“Charlie has excelled himself yesterday and today – he is a good spokesperson, he’s talking from the heart and means every word he says, but you have to know what you’re asking and what you’re talking about.
“I have to take advice from police and the council – I was told by Pembrokeshire County Council not to get involved or to come to these meetings, but I have, because my daughter lived in Monkton.
“Thank you all for coming down and being very patient.”
The event concluded with the announcement that a further protest would be held at County Hall in Haverfordwest tomorrow (Jul 14).