More than 1,000 sex offenders living in Norfolk
New figures released by he Ministry of Justice have revealed that more than 1,000 registered sex offenders are living in Norfolk.
These figures set Norfolk at a rate of 137 per 100,000 people, which is 15 per cent above the average of 119 for England and Wales.
As of March 2020, there were 1,110 registered sex offenders in Norfolk who were being managed under the police forces, probation services and other government agencies under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
The majority of those in Norfolk are classes as level one offenders, which means no special measures are required. But offenders in Norfolk were placed in the level two category five times during 2019-20, which means agencies must hold regular meetings to discuss them. These offenders are a higher risk and further resources such as specialised accommodation may be needed to manage them.
Those sentenced to at least 30 months in prison remain on the register indefinitely, although some can apply to be removed after 15 years. Six people were removed from the register last year, but the number of sex offenders has grown by 1% from 2018-19.
The Ministry of Justice have said the rise is due to increases in the average custodial sentence length and the requirement for many sexual offenders to register for long periods of time.
A Norfolk Police spokesperson said: “We take the management of sex offenders extremely seriously and will monitor, risk assess and enforce the law applied to those on the register. The management of risk in the community is provided under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) which involves police, probation and other partner agencies. Under the law, sex offenders who are subject to lifetime notification requirements can apply to have them reviewed after at least 15 years by making an application to police."
“When making such decisions, a number of factors must be taken into consideration including any evidence that the person chooses to submit. After careful consideration of all available information, a determination is made based upon the current level of risk as to whether that person should still be subject to notification requirements.”
Offenders must report and changes to their circumstances including their address, travel plans and any potential contact with children, but 20 offenders in Norfolk were cautioned or convicted for failing to do so last year.
The figures also show that 453 violent offenders - those who have committed crimes such as murder, kidnapping and grievous bodily harm - were living in Norfolk in March. But this could also include other sexual offenders who are not required to be on the register.