Freed Sexual Offenders Guilty of 400 Sex Crimes; ...but Most Police Forces Will Not Even Give Us the Figures

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Byline: Marcello Mega and Graham Grant

NEARLY 400 sexual crimes have been committed by convicted sex offenders living in the community.

New police figures reveal the scale of repeat offending by sex criminals, often after being freed early from jail.

At the same time, dozens of criminals who were placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a fixed period have been convicted of further sexual offences after being removed from it.

The figures - the first of their kind to be published - follow a report that uncovered a catalogue of police failures in supervising paedophile Thomas Smith, 28, who raped and murdered Diane Fallon, 43, and her ten-year-old daughter Holly.

Last night, Scottish Labour justice spokesman Johann Lamont said: 'The public must be protected from sex offenders at all costs. We need urgent guarantees that the register is being used properly.

'We also need to see the full scale of the risk posed by these people, so I am today calling on the SNP Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to review how the register is used.' Sex offenders in the community are supposed to be monitored by police and social workers to limit the risk of reoffending.

But senior police sources told the Scottish Daily Mail it was estimated that 380 registered sex offenders had been convicted of subsequent sex offences since the register was founded in 1997.

Lothian and Borders Police had 64 such offences and Grampian 38. By applying the ratios of offences to offenders in those areas, the police sources said it was possible to calculate that about 380 sex offences will have been committed by registered sex offenders in Scotland, an average of 27 a year since registration began.

Ten offenders in Grampian and 12 in Lothian and Borders have been convicted of sexual crimes after having been removed from the register.

Applying those figures to all the 3,000 offenders who have been removed from the register, the national figure will be about 70, an average of five a year. …