Number of perverts in community increases

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THE number of sex offenders living in our communities has risen.

The latest figures show 261 registered sex offenders are signed up to the rules to restrict their liberty and safeguard others, a rise of 47 per cent from the last time figures from Wearside were released two years ago when 177 were registered.

In addition to those perverts, a further 71 are classed as violent offenders under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa), the programme which brings together law enforcers to manage those at risk to others.

Across the North East, as of March this year, 1,538 of both class of criminals were being managed by Mappa, an increase from 1,385 last year.

Of those, 1,115 are managed on the sex offenders’ register, which is an increase of 77 since the 2010/11 statistics were released and equates to 88 people per 100,000 of the population.

Rules they must abide by include notifying police of their name, address and other details and being monitored by police who take on the role of risk management officers.

Other means of keeping track of them include sexual offences prevention orders, which can include further requirements imposed by a court when they are sentenced or later if concerns are raised by police.

During the last year, 84 of these orders were made, up from 66 in the previous 12 months, which Mappa leaders say shows more measures are in place to manage sex offenders effectively.

The Mappa scheme also drafts in housing, social services and mental health organisations to share information and identify those who could offend again.

Assistant chief constable Steve Ashman, chairman of Northumbria’s Mappa strategic management board, said: “While the powers and scope of Mappa have grown over the past 10 years, the core aim of working to protect the public from harm have remained central to everything we do.

“We are always looking to improve and over the past year we introduced new arrangements for protecting vulnerable people within the MAPPA framework, which allows for more proactive monitoring of licence conditions, meaning we can work more closely with our partners and take a more proactive approach to offender management.”