A ‘WORRYING’ number of sex offenders are being registered in Warwickshire, say campaigners.
The number of people in the county registered as sex offenders in the past year was 409 – a rise of just under eight per cent on last year’s figure – and above the national rise of 6.7 per cent.
An NSPCC spokesman said it was worrying the problem was so prolific as many of the offenders would be paedophiles.
He added: “In just ten years, the number of registered sex offenders has risen by 73 per cent nationally and these latest figures mean that nearly one in every 1,000 people in England and Wales is on the register.
“A trend towards more survivors of sex abuse being willing to come forward is encouraging, but there is no room for complacency and it is important to report signs of sexual abuse when they occur.”
But Warwickshire Police said the increase was the result of improvements in investigations and victims being more willing to come forward.
Ch Insp Andy Nolan said: “I appreciate the increase could cause some concern – however this is something Warwickshire Police welcome.
“More individuals who pose a risk are being monitored by us and our partner agencies, and more individuals who pose a risk have the necessary restrictions imposed upon them.
“The rise can be attributed to the way crimes are recorded as well as the number of people now feeling comfortable to come forward and report offences to police. We as a society are more open to discuss these kinds of offences than we ever have been before and this is incredibly encouraging for those who have been affected.
“I would like to encourage anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to seek help and support. Don’t suffer in silence, there are a number of agencies you can approach for support as well as the police.”
Visit www.stoprapenow.co.uk for details of victim support agencies.
Children worried about sexual abuse can call Childline on 0800 11 11, and adults concerned about children can contact the NSPCC helpline by calling 0808 800 5000, visiting www.nspcc.org.uk or texting 88858.