Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 12:19 UK

Sex offender figures on increase

Scales of Justice
Multi-agency supervision teams were set up seven years ago

The number of registered sex offenders in England and Wales increased by 3% to more than 31,300 last year, the Ministry of Justice has said.

Figures also show the number of violent and sex offenders who did not have to sign the register was up 9% to 16,000.

There was a total rise of 3% to 50,210 of offenders under the supervision of the police and probation service.

The figures relate to the work of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (Mappa) supervision teams.

They were set up seven years ago with the aim of improving the supervision of offenders who live in the community.

'Protecting communities'

The Ministry of Justice said the figures showed the public were being "better protected than ever".

Justice minister David Hanson said: "The first duty of the criminal justice system is to protect the public.

"Putting in place thorough systems to ensure high level vigilance of serious sexual and violent offenders on their release from prison is vital in our work protecting communities from crime.

"The Mappa system we put in place just seven years ago, with police, probation and other agencies working closely together, has been successful in reducing the risk to the public."


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