Number of registered sex offenders in Suffolk increases by 17% in less than two years
The number of registered sex offenders in Suffolk has risen by 17% in little more than a year-and-a-half, according to police figures.
And four of those on the register have disappeared and are believed to have fled abroad.
On April 1, 2014, there were 588 registered sex offenders (RSO) in the county, up from 584 two years earlier. However, by November 1, 2015, the total stood at 689.
The surge reflects the increase in complaints over the past three years since the watershed of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Of the current 689 RSOs, 106 are aged 65 and above and 139 are between 55 and 64 years of age.
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The largest age category is between 45 and 54 which has 154 RSOs.
The smallest is 25 and under which has 63 people on the register.
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One of the wanted RSOs disappeared in May 2011. The others have not been traced since March 2012, November 2012, and April 2014.
Detective Superintendent David Cutler, head of Suffolk’s Protecting Vulnerable People directorate, said; “The management of sex offenders in the community is provided under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), which involves police, probation, social services and other partner agencies.
“The Sex Offenders’ Register is a powerful tool, which allows police forces to monitor and manage the whereabouts and activities of registered sex offenders, but it is also about engagement of all agencies to actively manage sex offenders to reduce the risk they pose and increase public safety.
“The protection of the public remains our highest priority and Suffolk Police has a dedicated team who monitor, risk assess and enforce the law applied to those people on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
“While the reality is that the risks posed by some offenders can never be completely eliminated, we will continue to do all in our power to keep them to a minimum.
“Suffolk Constabulary has ensured its focus is on targeting those individuals who pose the highest risk, this has led to an increase in the number of individuals on the register since it commenced in 1997.
“Through the legalisation in place their movements and activities are closely scrutinised and managed. The enforceable powers mean that the registered sex offender must inform police of any change of address, other addresses they visit for more than seven days in every 12 months or foreign travel.
“They must also re-register once a year. Failure to comply with these rules could lead to arrest and prosecution.
“Suffolk currently have four outstanding offenders who are wanted – down from February 2015 when there were five.”
“They are believed to be out of the country. On-going police checks and liaison with the border agencies exist and all are circulated on the Police National Computer (PNC).”