Soaring numbers of sex offenders in the area
NEARLY 1,000 sex offenders live in Leicestershire - an increase of 60% compared to eight years ago.
Figures released today show there were 959 registered sex offenders living in the Leicestershire police force area at the end of March 2018.
This is the equivalent of one sex offender for every 993 people aged 10 and over.
However, the number of sex offenders per head in the police force area is 12% lower than across England and Wales as a whole, which has one sex offender for every 878 people.
The number of sex offenders in Leicestershire has risen by 7% compared to March 2017.
It is also 57% higher than at the end of 2010/11, when police force level figures began being pub- lished, when there were 611 registered sex offenders living here.
The figures released by the Ministry of Justice cover offenders managed by Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) aimed at preventing further offences.
Sex offenders are required to notify the police of certain details, with further notification required if any of those details change (sometimes referred to as ‘being on the sex offenders register’).
In 2017/18, six sex offenders being monitored in Leicestershire were charged with a serious further offence, and four were convicted.
As well as this, two serious sex offenders were returned to prison for breaching their licence conditions.
Last year, 53 sex offenders in Leicestershire were also cautioned or convicted of a breach of notification requirements.
More restrictive orders can also be imposed on sex offenders, such as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs) and previously Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs), or notification orders.
There were 112 SHPOs and SOPOs imposed in our area in 2017/18.
However, three offenders breached their SOPO last year.
A legal challenge in 2010 means offenders can apply for a review of lifetime notification requirements, after at least 15 years for adults and eight years for juveniles.
A total of 10 offenders in the area had these requirements revoked in 2017/18.
Across England and Wales, there were 58,637 registered sex offenders being monitored by police at March 31, 2018.
This was a 6% rise compared to 55,236 offenders being managed in March 2017.
The number of registered sex offenders has risen by 87% over the past 10 years, from 31,392 in 2006/07.
The increase in the number of sex offenders is influenced by sentencing trends, in which the number of people convicted of sexual offences is increasing.
Additionally, many sexual offenders are required to register for long periods of time, with some registering for life.
This has a cumulative effect on the total number of offenders required to register at any one time.
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “As the number of sex offenders being monitored grows it’s important to understand how these arrangements will continue to reduce the risk of reoffending.
“Just this week a Home Affairs Select Committee report warned of forces struggling to cope with the huge pressures placed on their resources.
“With more offenders breaching their orders, it’s vital police are given all the tools they need to both effectively monitor child sex offenders in the community and combat the increasing threat posed by complex online abuse.”
MAPPA brings together the police, probation and prison services, as the responsible authority, working with other organisations such as social services, health trusts and local authorities.
Offenders eligible for MAPPA are identified and information is gathered and shared about them across relevant agencies.
The nature and level of the risk of harm they pose is assessed and a coordinated risk management plan is implemented to protect the public.