Dozens of sex offenders removed from lifetime register in last five years

Police station in Museum Street, Ipswich will be closed on December 9

Under the requirements, offenders have to provide their local police station with a record of their name, address, date of birth, and national insurance number - Credit: Lucy Taylor

An increasing number of sex offenders have successfully applied to be removed from a register requiring lifetime notification of their whereabouts.

Almost 50 sex offenders have won the right to have the court-ordered requirements lifted since 2015.

In the year ending March 2021, 11 individuals successfully applied for the requirements to be revoked – the most since the Ministry of Justice began including the figure in annual statistics on the management of serious offenders in 2015/16.

In 2011, then Home Secretary, Theresa May opened the door for sex offenders to appeal lifetime registration.

It came after a supreme court ruling that indefinite registration with no right to review amounted to a breach of human rights.

Offenders must wait at least 15 years from the time of sentence to have a right of review, while juvenile sex offenders have to wait a minimum of eight years before being eligible.

The review requires the police to consider the risk of sexual harm posed by a relevant offender and the effect of the continuation of the indefinite notification requirements on that offender.

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Anyone found to be in breach of notification requirements can be dealt with by way of a custodial sentence. 

Nationally, between April 2020 and March 2021, 402 registered sex offenders had lifetime notification requirements revoked on application.

Under the requirements, offenders have to provide their local police station with a record of their name, address, date of birth, and national insurance number.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Dring, of Suffolk police, said: “The management of risk in the community is provided under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), which involves police, probation services, health and housing providers and other partner agencies.

“Suffolk police takes the management of sex offenders extremely seriously and we will monitor, risk assess and enforce the law applied to those on the register.

“Under the law, sex offenders who are subject to lifetime notification requirements can apply to have them reviewed after at least 15 years by making an application to police.

“After careful consideration of all available information, a determination is made based upon the current level of risk as to whether that person should still be subject to notification requirements.”