How many registered sex offenders are living in Northamptonshire, according to latest figures

Rape Crisis charity admits concern over number breaching notification requirements

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 3:34 pm

Nearly 900 registered sex offenders are living in Northamptonshire, according to latest official figures.

Police forces, probation services and other government agencies keep tabs on dangerous criminals in communities across England and Wales using management plans known as multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA).

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data shows 855 people convicted of sex crimes were being managed under MAPPAs in the Northamptonshire Police area at the end of March.

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More than 850 registered sex offenders are living in Northamptonshire, according to latest figures. (File picture).

It means there were 129 registered sex offenders for every 100,000 people in the area at that time – a fall from 130 the year before.

MAPPAs allow authorities to assess and manage the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders.

In Northamptonshire, sex offenders made up 80 percent of those subject to the arrangements in March.

There were also 209 violent offenders and five other dangerous offenders under MAPPAs in the area at that point.

Across England and Wales, 64,300 registered sex offenders were subject to MAPPAs as of March – three percent more than in March 2020, and the equivalent of 122 in every 100,000 people.

The number has more than doubled since 2006-07, with the upward trend driven mainly by increases in the number of people convicted of sexual offences that are placed on the sex offenders register, many of them for life, the MoJ said.

Plans are specific to each offender but could include conditions such as being regularly monitored, living in approved premises and having to disclose their offending history.

Those on the sex offenders' register have notification requirements in place that can include having to tell the police when they intend to travel and where they are staying.

The figures show that sex offenders were cautioned or convicted more than 1,640 times for breaching notification requirements in 2020-21. Ten of those breaches were recorded in Northamptonshire.

Jayne Butler, CEO of Rape Crisis England and Wales, said the organisation welcomed any measures taken to hold sexual abusers to account but said MAPPAs were not sufficient in keeping victims and survivors safe nationally.

She said: "The number of those cautioned or convicted for breaches is unacceptable, and the true extent of those breaches is unlikely to be reflected in these figures.

"This is not reassuring for victims and survivors."

There is no process in the UK to find out if a sex offender lives in your area although Sarah's Law — the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme created following the horrific murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000 — allows people you ask the police if a specific person who spends time alone with a child or children is a Registered Sex Offender or a risk to the child or children.

MAPPAs can vary in length significantly, with some offenders expected to comply for life and others for less than six months depending on the offence committed and the sentence imposed.

Offenders now have the right to apply to have lifetime MAPPAs revoked and, in 2020-21, more than 400 offenders nationwide were successful in doing so including five in Northamptonshire.

A National Police Chiefs Council spokesman said the UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to manage violent and sexual offenders.

He said personalised risk management plans under MAPPA enabled authorities to more actively manage offenders posing the greatest risk to the public.

A MoJ spokesman said the number of serious further offences committed by those subject to MAPPAs was at an eight-year low, and the figures showed that the arrangements were working.