Sex Offenders Register Increase

Statistics released by the Home Office show that the number of registered sex offenders in England and Wales has increased by nearly 4%. The latest figures show there were 29,973 people on the sex offenders register last year.

And the number of violent offenders and other sex offenders under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (Mappa) has also shown an increase. These went up more than 13% year-on-year to a total of 14,317.

Mappa were monitoring 47,653 violent and sex offenders in England and Wales at the end of 2005/06.

This is an increase of almost 7% on the previous 12 month period.

Mappa involves a combination of agencies including police, probation and social services, which monitor dangerous offenders once they are released from jail and have returned to the community.

Home Office minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: “The offences committed by the population of offenders covered by the Mappa create intense suffering for victims and great concern for us all.

“Whilst we can never eliminate risk entirely, we are all entitled to expect that everything that can be done is being done to prevent these offenders from re-offending.”

This is the first annual report since the system was criticised for its failings in the case of convicted rapist Anthony Rice.

In May this year an inquiry by Chief Inspector of Probation Andrew Bridges highlighted how Rice killed mother-of-one Naomi Bryant nine months after being freed from a 16-year jail term because officials placed his human rights above protecting the public.

The local Mappa was “distracted” when Rice had been freed, because it had been considering his human rights, the report said.

Rice, 49, strangled and stabbed to death Ms Bryant, 40, at her home in Winchester in August last year, only days after they had met.

The increase announced on Monday comes after last year’s figures showed an 18% rise. The number of registered sex offenders accumulate year-on-year because on conviction many are ordered to stay on the register for life.

The number of individuals already on the register who have re-offended has fallen from 79 in 2004/05 to 61 in 2005/06 – a drop of 22.78%

The latest figures also revealed a 30% increase in the number of registered sex offenders who have breached their notification requirements – up to 1,295 from 993 last year.

These include failing to notify the authorities of a change of address, a change of name or not providing full identity details at the initial registration.