Ministers forced to release paedophiles

A clinic that runs a treatment programme for paedophiles is to be shut even though the Government has deemed it the most effective in the country.

In its place, the Home Office minister Hilary Benn told MPs yesterday, he is to set up a national review into residential treatment for sex offenders – and release some of the most highly deviant paedophiles in Britain on to the streets. The Wolvercote Clinic has to be out of its site in Epsom, Surrey, by the end of the month because the Government wants to sell the grounds in which the unit stands.

Its inmates are to be "released into the community" until new premises are found, but no deadline has been put on the search for a new building. A plan to move the clinic to the old Silverlands Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey, was dropped by ministers after protests by local people.

Donald Findlater, manager of the Wolvercote, said: "The Government's own research shows what a highly effective programme we run. How they square that with closing us down I can't quite see. We are being replaced with a report."

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