Sussex Police is missing 11 registered sex offenders
SUSSEX Police is missing 11 registered sex offenders in the county, it has been revealed.
New figures obtained by the Press Association showed hundreds of convicted sex offenders had gone missing across the UK.
Police revealed 396 registered sex offenders were wanted nationally because their whereabouts were unknown, including some who had been missing for more than a decade. There were 11 of the offenders within the Sussex Police area.
Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was abducted and killed in 2000 by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that any registered sex offenders have disappeared from authority management, putting the public at risk.
“It’s time to take some serious proactive action to bring them back under the police radar .”
Registered sex offenders – including rapists and paedophiles – are required to inform police and probation officers of their addresses and are supposed to be monitored by officials working under multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA).
But in freedom of information responses to the Press Association, 39 forces revealed there were missing registered sex offenders in their areas in February or early March.
They stressed the figures could change as arrests were made or new cases came to light.
Every force to respond to the Press Association refused to name those missing over concerns of vigilante attacks or because the information was exempt under data protection laws.
The NSPCC described the figures as ‘alarming’ and said its own research had found there was just one police staff member responsible for every 50 registered sex offenders.
Jon Brown, the charity’s lead for tackling sexual abuse, said: “About half of those on the register are offenders who have raped or sexually assaulted children, or committed online child abuse image offences, however most just receive one police visit a year after they have been released from prison and a period of supervision.
“The monitoring of registered sex offenders in communities needs urgent attention by the government to ensure it is fit for purpose.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and we are committed to ensuring the system is as robust as possible.
“It is for the police to manage offenders in their area, but we work closely with forces to ensure legislation is effective and that officers have all the tools they need.”
Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, who is the national policing lead for the management of sexual offenders and violent offenders, said: “Protecting the public from sexual and violent offenders is a key role for the police service.
“A large proportion of the recorded wanted or missing sex offenders are, following investigation, either known or believed to be living abroad or have returned to their country of origin. When registered sexual offenders (RSO’s) are missing or wanted in the UK, all police forces are alerted.
“If they return to the UK, there are several processes in place to ensure that they are brought to the attention of police and arrested where appropriate.”