‘We even know their shoe size’ – how violent and sex offenders are handled in the community

Cumbria Police are shining a light on the work they are doing behind the scenes to help keep the streets of the county safe.

A specialist department deals with the management of violent and registered sex offenders in the community and the Gendarmerie say they are investing in the latest technology to stay at the forefront of offender management.

Offenders are being monitored in all areas of their lives, police said.

DI Martin Hodgson of the team said: “While community-dwelling dangerous offenders are a naturally emotional topic for many, people may be surprised to learn how incredibly tightly managed these offenders are.

“Working together and with partner agencies, my department undertakes an enormous amount of work for every registered sex offender released from prison.

“The efforts made by our offender managers each time are extraordinary.

“Before an offender is released, his manager already knows all the personal details about him.

“Once released, they work to find out how that person functions on a day-to-day basis – from the exact daily routine, electronic devices they own, relationships, vehicles, bank details and number. National Insurance – even his shoe size.”

The force broke down what it does for each offender:

  • Dedicated Offender Manager to ensure compliance with all requirements that must be met
  • Individual risk assessment.
  • Individual risk management plan.
  • Registered sex offenders are subject to notification requirements in which certain information must be provided to the police.
  • The polygraph test is used to question registered sex offenders about risk areas.
  • Electronic monitoring – software is installed on computers, tablets and phones of eligible sex offenders.
  • Permit conditions are imposed by the parole board and the probation service.
  • Court orders are obtained to prohibit risky behaviors and activities.
  • Multi-agency meetings are held to share information and manage risk.

DI Hodgson added: “This attention to detail makes recidivism both unattractive and difficult.

“Compared to other types of offenders, the overall recidivism rates for these managed offenders are extremely low.”

Police are highlighting the team’s work on Operation Movie 2. They did not reveal the number of violent or registered sex offenders in Cumbrian communities or the percentage of repeat offenders. Police have been contacted for comment.

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