Six Northamptonshire sex offenders removed from register

Police Headquarters, Wootton Hall. Police HQ ENGNNL00120110312130729
Police Headquarters, Wootton Hall. Police HQ ENGNNL00120110312130729

Six convicted Northamptonshire sex offenders have successfully appealed to have their name taken off the sex offenders register.

That’s according to information released after a Freedom of Information request to Northamptonshire Police made by this newspaper.

Since May 2012, 17 offenders who are currently on the sex offenders register have requested that they are taken off.

Seven of those cases are still under review, but six of the other 10 requests have been approved by police.

Northamptonshire Police’s public protection officer Det Chief Insp Richard Tompkins said: “Keeping people safe is our main priority and that includes the significant work we do to monitor registered sex offenders living in Northamptonshire.

“In 2012, an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 was introduced, giving convicted perpetrators the right to apply to their local police force to be removed from the sex offenders register no earlier than 15 years after being placed on it.

“However, the decision to ratify a person being removed from the register is a carefully considered one, taken by a senior police officer in conjunction with the offender management unit, and based on all information available when the request is made.

“Information about the nature of the offence, the applicant’s behaviour since conviction and compliance with the terms of the register are all taken into account when reaching a decision.”

Five of those were originally convicted of offences against adult females, with one convicted of indecent assault against a 15-year-old girl in 1995.

As people can only be taken off the register after 15 years, it means those who would have applied would have been sentenced to an indefinite time on the register.

Sentencing guidelines say anyone who was made to sign the register indefinitely would have been sentenced to at least 30 months in prison for their offences.

Mr Tompkins added that they will continue to focus on those who pose the biggest risk to the public.

He said: “In the past five years six people have been removed from the sex offenders register having submitted an application, which is a relatively low number of individuals.

“We will continue to focus our resources on the individuals who present the greatest risk of harm to the public in order to keep people safe.”

When sex offenders are made to join the register, they have to provide information such as their address, bank account details, whether they live with a child and passport details.

They must re-register every year and inform police of any travel plans, limiting their freedom and allowing police to track them upon release.

Details of an offender who is on the register could also be disclosed to others if it was deemed that there was a risk of sexual harm.

A spokesman for sexual violence charity Rape Crisis said the removal of people from the register underestimates the severity of the impact on victims.

The spokesman said: “In most cases involving adult perpetrators of sexual violence, it would certainly seem inappropriate to remove them from the sex offenders register.

“Not only does it seem to underestimate the seriousness of sexual offences and the severity of their impacts on victims, it also raises potential public safety concerns.”