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Surge in resident sex offenders

PUBLISHED: 17:29 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:37 25 August 2010

THE number of registered sex offenders living in the borough has soared by nearly 40 per cent, a report has revealed.

THE number of registered sex offenders living in the borough has soared by nearly 40 per cent, a report has revealed.

Bexley had seen a 40 per cent surge in registered sex offenders, from 57 in 2005 to 2006, to 81 in the last year according to a report by the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

Neighbouring Bromley had the ninth highest number of sex offenders in the capital with 116 registered convicts in 2007 to 2008.

Bromley has a comparatively high number of registered sex offenders but the number has fallen since 2005 when it was home to 128.

Greenwich has seen a steady fall in registered sex offenders since 2005. Currently 94 live in the borough.

MAPPA reports are released each year to inform the public of sexual and violent offenders who have chosen to live in their area.

Offenders are not necessarily paedophiles, and the list can include those guilty of rape and GBH, and includes some offenders aged under 18.

Once in the MAPPA scheme, sexual and violent offenders are categorised and must submit information about themselves to the police and other agencies.

There are around 45 registered sex offenders in London per 100,000 people, and last year 300 were cautioned or convicted of breach of registration.

But Malcolm Gilbert, a director for sexual abuse charity Family Matters, said the public should not be 'lulled into a false sense of security' by MAPPA.

He said: "The controls we have on sex offenders are by no means perfect.

"The vast majority of sex offenders remain undetected as their crimes go unreported."

Whilst there was a small rise in the number of registered sex offenders on last year's report, registered violent offenders have shot up by 35 per cent this year.

The report suggested the additional 750 violent offenders was down to better registration and longer sentences, since Met statistics showed violent crime in London fall last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Smart of Bromley CID and its Public Protection Unit said: "We work very closely with other agencies to ensure the safety and protection of the public when dealing with violent or sexual offenders.

"We can reassure residents that violent and sexual offenders are closely monitored wherever they may live or whatever their personal circumstances".

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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