Number of perverts on sex offenders’ register increases in Suffolk

AS public protection agencies face massive cutbacks, the number of sex offenders who need careful monitoring continues to rise.

More than 500 convicted paedophiles, perverts and rapists are now on Suffolk's growing sex offenders' register, according to official figures.

Suffolk Constabulary said 533 criminals are currently on the list, equating to a 26 per cent increase since 2006.

Each year the register gets larger as more people are ordered to sign on – many for long periods – after being convicted of sex crimes.

In March last year there were 489 offenders on the list, of whom 33 were graded as a high-risk to the public. In 2006 there were 393 people on the register.

Professionals whose role it is to ensure the public are protected stress they go to great lengths to make sure those on the sex offenders' register comply with the conditions they are given by the courts.

However, the whereabouts of three of the offenders are currently unknown.

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The task of protection could be complicated by multi-million pound cuts to public services at a time when offender numbers continue to rise.

Detective Superintendent Alan Caton, head of public protection for Suffolk Constabulary said: 'We have to accept there is a resource implication.

'There are more people continuing to go on the register than are coming off.

'As the numbers continue to grow we are going to have to look at how we deal with this, and how we continue do so effectively.

'The officers are specially trained and do an incredibly valuable job to keep the public safe. It's a very challenging role.

'The management of sex offenders is taken very seriously by the constabulary and its partners.'

Between April 2009 and March 2010 police successfully applied for 30 full sexual offences prevention orders (SOPOs) against sex offenders by making further applications to Suffolk courts. Fifteen SOPOs were breached during 2010.

Sex offenders could now be given the right to appeal their placement on the register for life. It follows a Supreme Court ruling over compliance with European human rights legislation.

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