Cambridge

There are over 800 sex offenders in Cambridgeshire and heres how you can find out if you know one

The number of registered sex offenders living in Cambridgeshire has doubled since 2010, according to the latest Ministry of Justice figures.

In total there were 838 registered sex offenders living in the Cambridgeshire police force area at the end of March 2018.

This is the equivalent of one sex offender for every 881 people aged 10 and over.

Sex offenders in England are required to notify the police of certain details, with further notification required if any of those details change.

The figures for Cambridgeshire are similar to those across England and Wales, which has one sex offender for every 878 people.

The number of sex offenders in Cambridgeshire has risen by 5 per cent compared to March 2017.

It is also 54 per cent higher than at the end of 2010/11 when there were 545 registered sex offenders living in the county. Police force level figures first started being published at this time.

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In 2017/18, one sex offender being monitored in Cambridgeshire was charged with a serious further offence, and none were convicted.

As well as this, six serious sex offenders were returned to prison for breaching their licence conditions.

Last year, 35 sex offenders in Cambridgeshire were also cautioned or convicted of a breach of notification requirements.

More restrictive orders can also be imposed on sex offenders, such as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs) and previously Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs), or notification orders.

There were 64 SHPOs and SOPOs imposed in our area in 2017/18, and one notification order. However, one offender breached their SOPO last year.

A legal challenge in 2010 also means offenders can apply for a review of lifetime notification requirements, after at least 15 years for adults and eight years for juveniles.

A total of two offenders in the area had these requirements revoked in 2017/18.

The number of sex offenders has risen dramatically

Who monitors sex offenders in your area?

The Ministry of Justice have put in place Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) to monitor offenders and prevent further offences.

It requires offenders to report to the police within three days of conviction or release from custody, imprisonment or service detention to provide personal details, such as their home address.

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MAPPA brings together the police, probation and prison services, as the responsible authority, working with other organisations such as social services, health trusts and local authorities.

Offenders eligible for MAPPA are identified and information is gathered and shared about them across relevant agencies.

The nature and level of the risk of harm they pose is assessed and a coordinated risk management plan is implemented to protect the public.

Parkside Police Station in Cambridge (Image: Warren Gunn)

How do I find out about a sex offender?

If you are concerned about who may be living in your area, go to your nearest police station and ask for a Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme Form or Form 284.

The scheme will allow you to ask police if someone who may be in contact with a child has a record of these offences and could potentially be at risk of causing harm.

Police will then confidentially reveal the details to you if it is deemed in the child's interests.

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Elsewhere in the country

Across England and Wales, there were 58,637 registered sex offenders being monitored by police at March 31, 2018.

This was a 6 per cent rise compared to 55,236 offenders being managed in March 2017.

The number of registered sex offenders has risen by 87 per cent over the past 10 years, from 31,392 in 2006/07.

The increase in the number of sex offenders is influenced by sentencing trends, in which the number of people convicted of sexual offences is increasing.

Additionally, many sexual offenders are required to register for long periods of time, with some registering for life.

This has a cumulative effect on the total number of offenders required to register at any one time.

A spokesman for child welfare charity, NSPCC , said: “As the number of sex offenders being monitored grows its important to understand how these arrangements will continue to reduce the risk of reoffending.

“Just this week a Home Affairs Select Committee report warned of forces struggling to cope with the huge pressures placed on their resources.

“With more offenders breaching their orders, its vital police are given all the tools they need to both effectively monitor child sex offenders in the community and combat the increasing threat posed by complex online abuse.”

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