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EXCLUSIVE: Five sex offenders missing in Dorset
FIVE convicted sex offenders are currently missing or wanted by Dorset Police.
Officers are actively seeking the whereabouts of the individuals, who are all on the sex offenders’ register.
But the force said it was unable to reveal any details about the missing offenders, such as who they are or the offences they committed. Offenders are also ranked in ‘levels’ depending on the seriousness of supervision they need.
The police, who are just one of several agencies involves in dealing with sex offenders, have not disclosed the levels of the missing sex offenders.
At the time of the last annual report published by the Dorset Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Management Board (MAPPA), there were 574 registered sex offenders in Dorset.
Claude Knights, director of Kidscape, said regardless of level, one missing sex offender is ‘one too many’.
Although she said she doesn’t know how five missing compares to the rest of the UK, if any registered sex offender is unaccounted for then ‘safeguarding the public is not as it should be’.
She said she could understand that the police don’t want to cause any ‘unnecessary worry’ but to have five missing offenders is ‘far from ideal’.
She added: “The ideal situation is not to have any registered sex offenders unaccounted for.
“It is concerning because they are on the register for a reason and one would hope, that costing what it does, MAPPA would prevent them from going missing.”
She said she hoped the board was doing ‘everything it possibly can’ to rectify this.
The number of current missing offenders came to light as the result of a Freedom of Infor-mation request by the Echo.
Dorset Police refused to give any further details about the offenders.
Level one offenders need ordinary agency management, level two is where the active involvement of more than one agency is required.
Level three is where senior oversight is required to monitor an offender.
Of Dorset’s registered sex offenders, 14 were cautioned or convicted for breach of notification requirements.
Two, who are level 2 offenders, were sent back to custody.
A new report giving numbers as from March 31 this year is due to be published around the end of this month.
But when the Echo asked how many sex offenders were currently missing or wanted, a spokesman said: “As at October 9, 2013, there were a total of five registered sex offenders classed as missing or currently recorded as wanted, and being actively sought by Dorset Police because they have broken notification requirements.”
Report expects register numbers to rise
THE MAPPA report says: “The number of registered sex offenders continues to rise year on year as expected and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
“This does not mean that there are any more sex offenders in the community than there were previously but that every sexual offence conviction now results in a requirement to register.
“Many sex offenders are required to register for the rest of their lives so will never come out of the statistics. Sexual offenders cause a great deal of anxiety and although the figures are low the public are understandably concerned about sex offenders in the community and the risk they pose. There is no typical sex offender and not all sex offenders pose a risk to the general public.
“The vast majority of sexual offences are committed by offenders who are generally known to their victim either a family member, a friend or an acquaintance. Managing the risk posed by sex offenders is complex and cuts across the organisational boundaries of all the authorities concerned.
“Research suggests however that when offenders have stability in their lives and are well integrated into their community, they are less likely to offend.”
It adds: “One of the most important partners in public protection are members of the public and it is vital that they are aware of their responsibility to protect vulnerable members in our community by having the confidence to report any concerns and to have faith in their local services to act promptly and appropriately to ensure the most vulnerable are protected.”
The report adds that MAPPA is committed to protecting the community.
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