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POLICE FIGURES: More than 10% of Kent's sex offenders live in Maidstone

Friday 17th September 2021

OVER 2,500 registered sex offenders are currently being monitored in Kent - and more than a tenth of them in Maidstone, writes Katie May Nelson.

Kent Police figures have revealed the areas in the county where the largest number of sex offenders are being observed.

Currently, 2,549 people are the subject of ongoing checks from police; this rose from 2,522 in December 2020.

The highest number were in the Margate and Canterbury areas.

Number of sex offenders actively being monitored by area:

Margate and Canterbury: 414
Dover, Ashford and Folkestone: 386
Medway: 354
Maidstone: 264
Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells: 244
Dartford and Gravesham: 223
Swale: 196

In disclosing the data, the force said the remaining hundreds of sex offenders are either in custody, hospital, or living abroad.

Detective Superintendent Kaye Braybrook said: “People can find themselves on the Sex Offenders Register following a conviction for crimes including indecent exposure, downloading indecent images and physical contact with victims including rape. 

“There will always be a wide range of factors that could impact on the likelihood of reoffending and as a force it is important that we continue to monitor and risk assess all registered sex offenders after they have been released from custody. 

“We work with partner agencies to carry out those risk assessments to reduce the chances of reoffending once prisoners are back out in the community.

“Some will remain on licence for a period of time and that is managed by HM Prison and Probation Service.

“Restrictions for a child sex offender, for example, may include not being permitted to have contact with children or work with young people. The consequences of breaching conditions can result in prison.

“Officers regularly carry out home visits and assess computer equipment, where appropriate.

“Offenders will also be asked to visit police stations on occasions as part of their conditions and it is a legal requirement for them to make contact with the force if they move house or plan to go on holiday.

“Failing to do this is a criminal offence that can carry a term of imprisonment. In addition, convicted sex offenders can also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which means on top of their licence conditions, they have to abide by other rules that will restrict their activities.

 “Kent Police has specially trained officers who are dedicated to proactively managing and monitoring those who pose a risk to the public. They take a robust approach and as a result see low levels of reoffending.”

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