Number of sex pests reoffending down

THERE are a total of 84 registered sex offenders in the Borders, it has been revealed, writes Kenny Paterson.

A Freedom on Information request from TheSouthern showed the statistic, which was correct as of March 31 this year.

And 107 sexual offences were carried out in the region and referred to the multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) report for 2009/2010.

A total of 94 cases involved an offender only working with a single agency, while 13 required more than one agency to be involved, due to the risk or complexity of the case.

In total, there were 599 registered sex offenders in Lothians and Borders, with 736 cases as of March 31.

Fourteen offenders in Lothians and Borders were returned to prison due to breach of their prohibition orders.

However, there was an overall reduction in the number of offenders reconvicted.

The agencies involved in the MAPPA process include Lothian and Borders Police, NHS Borders, Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Prison Service.

John Lamont, MSP for Roxburgh and Selkirkshire, also the Conservatives’ justice spokesman, said any offenders deemed to pose a significant risk should not be released.

He said: “The management of those convicted of these offences is of paramount importance and the MAPPAs are a welcome step in tightening up the process by which this is done.

“A joined-up strategy between police, social work and other agencies is the only way to deal with those who have been released from prison. These professionals work extremely hard to do what is a very demanding job.

“It is to be welcomed that the vast majority of offenders complied with their registration and did not reoffend.

“However, the fact of the matter is that, if someone is deemed to pose a significant risk, they should not be released.

“My party has also proposed the use of GPS tracking to monitor the movements of offenders and the use of lie detector tests to help uncover intentions and previous crimes, although there were initial problems with the GPS pilot.

“Sex crimes, particularly involving youngsters, can ruin the lives of victims and traumatise their families.

“Whilst we may never be able to stamp this out entirely, we can at least with a mixture of realism and the use of technology do everything possible to minimise the risk to the public and particularly young children.”