Sex offender figures shame our borough

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WIGAN has the highest number of registered sex offenders in Greater Manchester, new statistics show.

Figures released under Freedom of Information rules shows that the borough currently has 260 convicted rapists or paedophiles who have signed the sex offenders list.

The new Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders came into force on March 8. They can be used on anyone – adult or child – where the court considers they are needed to protect the public or, for the first time, safeguard children or vulnerable adults abroad

Det Supt John Chadwick

Salford and Oldham have the second and third highest number, with 252 and 239 respectively.

Trafford and Bury had the fewest sex offenders, with 128 in both areas.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had the third highest number of convicted sex offenders who have either failed to say where they are living or who have registered at an address where they are no longer residing – with a total of 23 within the force.

Despite the National Policing Lead for the Management of Sexual and Violent Offenders DCC Michelle Skeer saying protecting people from such offenders who pose a risk of serious harm is their key aim, the force could not reveal their names – citing concerns about breaching offenders’ human rights.

GMP was also unable to confirm how many missing offenders are from Wigan but it is thought 11 have absconded abroad and the remaining 12 are subject to periodic reviews and are now classed as wanted.

Det Supt Jon Chadwick said: “The UK has some of the most effective tools in the world to manage registered sexual offenders and the multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) play a key part in the effective monitoring of these offenders.

“Greater Manchester has seen a significant increase in the number of registered sex offenders over the last five years, in line with the national trend.

“GMP has continued to make good use of the legislative tools that are available, such as Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPOs). Of the 2700 registered sex offenders in Greater Manchester, more than 600 are subject to SOPOs.

“The new Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders came into force on March 8. They can be used on anyone – adult or child – where the court considers they are needed to protect the public or, for the first time, safeguard children or vulnerable adults abroad.

“These will significantly enhance the existing procedures and processes we have in place.

“A large proportion of the recorded missing/wanted sex offenders are either known or believed to be living abroad or have returned to their country of origin.

“Of the 23 registered sex offenders registered in GMP whose whereabouts are currently unknown, 11 are strongly believed to be abroad and checks are in place should they return to the UK.

“The remaining 12 are subject to periodic reviews and enquiries in order to trace them and all are circulated as wanted.”

The Metropolitan Police, the UK’s largest force, currently has 167 registered sex offenders wanted in London. West Midlands Police had the second highest amount, with 39. Forces in Cleveland and Cheshire had the fewest.