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Dozens of sex offenders in Norfolk removed from lifetime register after law change

Andy Coller, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Safeguarding. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Andy Coller, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Safeguarding. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Four of every five sex offenders in Norfolk who applied to be removed from the life-long register in recent years have been successful.

It means 50 sex offenders who were previously subject to lifetime registration are now deemed as lower risk and have had their notification requirements revoked since 2014.

In 2011, then Home Secretary Theresa May opened the door for sex offenders to appeal their lifetime registration.

It came after a supreme court ruling that indefinite registration with no right to review amounted to a breached of human rights.

Offenders must wait at least 15 years to have a right of review, but those who do make applications to be removed from the register are overwhelmingly successful, with 78pc of appeals granted.

Andy Coller, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Safeguarding.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAndy Coller, Temporary Detective Superintendent for Safeguarding. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Juvenile sex offenders have to wait a minimum of eight years before being eligible for review.

Norfolk Constabulary said they take management of sex offenders “extremely seriously”, but that they have a “duty to enforce the law” and treat each appeal fairly.

T/Detective Superintendent Andy Coller, head of safeguarding at the force, said: “We take the management of sex offenders extremely seriously and will monitor, risk assess and enforce the law applied to those on the register.

“The management of risk in the community is provided under the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) which involves police, probation and other partner agencies.

“Under the law, sex offenders who are subject to lifetime notification requirements can apply to have them reviewed after at least 15 years by making an application to police.

“When making such decisions, a number of factors must be taken into consideration including any evidence that the person chooses to submit.

“The evidence provided will include details of current relationships with family members and partners, current employment and interests, helping to build a picture of their life so all risks can be considered during the decision making process.

“Having carefully considered all available information we make a determination based upon the current level of risk as to whether that person should still be subject to notification requirements.

“We have a duty to enforce the law and apply this legislation in a fair manner.”

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