Essex now has 800 sex offenders

MORE than 800 registered sex offenders are currently living in Essex, it has been revealed.The figure emerged in an annual report from the organisation which manages and monitors serious offenders - and especially those considered likely to commit further crimes - in the community.

MORE than 800 registered sex offenders are currently living in Essex, it has been revealed.

The figure emerged in an annual report from the organisation which manages and monitors serious offenders - and especially those considered likely to commit further crimes - in the community.

Essex MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) reported yesterday that 802 registered sex offenders were living in the county in March, the equivalent of 49 for every 100,000 people.

Of these, 38 were convicted or cautioned for breaching the terms of their orders during a 12-month period, but none were convicted for repeat sex offences.


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In comparison, in Suffolk there were 393 registered sex offenders - which works out as 53 per 100,000.

Police, probation and prison officials, social services and health authorities work together on MAPPA to manage criminals considered potentially dangerous after serving prison sentences and being released “on licence”, or those who have served non-custodial sentences.

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Over the last year there were 713 offenders referred to Essex MAPPA, of whom 636 remained at level one, 64 at level two and 13 at level three - the latter being classed as the most likely to reoffend.

These include offenders who had been involved in cases of sexual abuse, violent crimes or domestic violence.

Of the level three criminals - made up of eight sex offenders, four violent offenders and one convicted of domestic violence - none committed a serious offence during the year they were being monitored and managed by MAPPA.

No serious offences were committed by any of the released offenders in the other two levels either, the report showed.

Yesterday a MAPPA spokeswoman said despite the number of registered sex offenders in the county, the chances of a random attack on a victim were minimal and people should not be overly worried.

“People still need to know that the majority of sex offenders are actually within or very close to the family, and that there is a lot of protection in place with registered sex offenders.

“The horrific stories people hear are terrible, but they are also very unusual.”

She added that since MAPPA was adopted five years ago, of the 2,000 people put into the scheme only one had committed a serious offence.

Speaking about the annual results yesterday, Alun Gower, a senior probation officer, said: “We work with the offender to work with the offending so it doesn't happen again. While we are working there is always a bond of security.

“Since MAPPA was introduced, the chances of someone slipping through the net are far, far lower.”

The organisation has the power to return licensed offenders to prison if it is considered they pose an unreasonable danger to the public.

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