Number of sex offenders increased

THE number of registered sex offenders living in East Anglia has risen to more than 1,600, new figures reveal.There are now 309 people on the sex offenders' register in Suffolk, according to Home Office data.

THE number of registered sex offenders living in East Anglia has risen to more than 1,600, new figures reveal.

There are now 309 people on the sex offenders' register in Suffolk, according to Home Office data.

Nationally, the number of sex offenders has risen 15% year on year – there were 24,572 on the register at the end of March compared with 21,413 a year earlier.

The figures were released as part of the annual report on so-called Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) which bring together police, probation, social services and other agencies to monitor violent and sex offenders in the community once they are released from jail.


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Offenders are given strict licence conditions on release from prison and can be sent back to jail if they fail to co-operate.

The overall number of offenders monitored by Mappa fell 25% in the year to 39,492, due to new counting arrangements.

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Numbers of highest-risk offenders - who are subjected to the most stringent conditions and may even face covert surveillance by detectives - who were referred to the multi-agency panels fell 24% to 2,152 in the year.

These offenders, dubbed "the critical few" included registered sex offenders, other sex offenders, violent criminals and abusers, or those cases which were "exceptional' because of their sensitivity or notoriety.

Correctional Services Minister Paul Goggins said: "We can never eliminate the risks posed by dangerous offenders, but we can do a huge amount to minimise them and protect our communities.

"As a society we have to face up to the fact that there are dangerous offenders in all our communities and manage the risks they pose.

"The small proportion of offenders that pose the highest risk are more closely scrutinised than ever by the panels.

"Only a very small proportion - this year as low as 1% - of offenders referred to the panels are charged with serious further offences.'

Alex Bamber, the probation service's assistant chief officer for public protection, said: "What people should know is that the most serious cases are very few indeed."

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said: "The report has acknowledged the benefits of involving a wide range of agencies to help manade violent and sex offenders who have served their sentence and been returned to the community."

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