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Sexual Offenders in the Force Area

Question

1. How many convicted sex offenders in the community (should not include incarcerated offenders) does your force area manage.

1a. How many are classified as Very High Risk, High Risk, Medium Risk and Low Risk 

1b. (If time permits) How many of the sex offenders that your force managers have convictions for offences relating to Indecent Images of Children?

2. How many officers and civilians do you employ who's role is specifically to visit convicted sex offenders to manage their risk to the public.

3. How many supervisors (Sergeant and equivalent civilian rank) and employed to directly supervise officers employed to visit convicted sex offenders.

4. What computer triage tools (used to examine computers while visiting convicted sex offenders) do officers employed to manage convicted sex offenders use. (please list all used)

Answer

Q1. 1,381

Q1(a). Very High (7), High Risk (195), Medium Risk (565), Low Risk (614)

Q1(b). 489

Please note that these officers may carry out other duties as part of their role.

Q2. 28

Q3. 4

Q4. The information you have requested in question 4 is exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 31(1)(a)(b) of the Act which relates to law enforcement. Section 31 is a prejudice based qualified exemption and therefore there is a requirement to evidence the harm in disclosure and conduct a public interest test. Please find this below:

Public Interest Test

Harm in disclosure

The police service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime, and protecting the communities we serve. Information will not be disclosed where the current or future prevention/detection of crime, the apprehension/prosecution of offenders or the administration of justice may be hindered as a result. To disclose information concerning computer triage tools used to examine computers while visiting convicted sex offenders could identify the constabulary’s capability and tactics used.

Factors favouring disclosure for section 31(1)

There is a public interest in the communities we serve being made aware of the facts relating to this area of policing in order to ensure openness and transparency. Disclosure of this information could go some way to ensuring to the public that we are appropriately equipped to manage this area of policing, and that debates surrounding these issues are informed and accurate.

Factors favouring non-disclosure for section 31(1)

Disclosure of this information relating to the management of registered sex offenders could disclose sensitive information. Releasing this information could identify the methods used to monitor such activity thus enabling individuals to evade detection of such activity. This would have a negative effect on our ability to effectively prevent and detect crime.

Balancing Test

The police service is charged with enforcing the law, preventing and detecting crime and protecting the communities we serve. This is of paramount importance to the police service and information that would hinder this ability will not be disclosed. Whilst there is public interest in openness, transparency and the assurance that we are appropriately and effectively allocating resources, there is a very strong public interest in safeguarding tactics and operations in this sensitive area of policing. It is for these reasons outlined above, that the argument is weighed in favour of non-disclosure.

FOI Ref: 410/16

Date of Request: 13.03.16