Rise in sex offenders living in Suffolk

THE number of sex offenders living in Suffolk has increased, a new report has revealed.

Anthony Bond

THE number of sex offenders living in Suffolk has increased, a new report has revealed.

In total there are 436 registered sex offenders living in the county, up from 413 last year and 393 in 2006.

The Suffolk Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) annual report has revealed there are a total of 541 offenders living in Suffolk who have committed a serious sexual or violent offence.

Of these, 78 are assessed as “high risk” and a further four are considered “highest risk”.

These offenders are monitored by MAPPA - a partnership of agencies including Suffolk Probation Area, Suffolk Constabulary and HM Prison Service.

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For the sixth year running, no offenders managed by MAPPA in Suffolk committed a serious further offence.

However, the report did reveal that during 2007/8 19 were sent back to prison for breaking their licence conditions.

Tim Sykes, Suffolk MAPPA manager, said: “We continue to work determinedly identifying, assessing and managing those offenders in the community who pose a risk to others.

“I am pleased that we can again report that no serious further offences were committed by those assessed as high risk and managed by MAPPA.

“Whilst it is impossible to eliminate all risks, we all remain committed within the MAPPA partnership to ensuring to the best of our ability that the public remain protected in future years.”

In order to keep a close eye on offenders, MAPPA has a range of tools at its disposal.

This includes supervision by probation officers, police intelligence work and sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist while in prison.

In some cases MAPPA can authorise the police to disclose details of registered sex offenders to people in the community if the offender poses a high risk of harm.

For the four highest risk offenders, police surveillance can be used to help MAPPA keep a close eye on them.

The annual report, called Mappa News, is available at Suffolk libraries or online at www.suffolkprobation.gov.uk.