Ruffley Reveals Shocking New Sex Offending Figures for Suffolk and Writes Letter to Suffolk Chief Constable

Tuesday, 16 September, 2003

Today David Ruffley revealed new figures which showed a rise in the total number of registered sex offenders in Suffolk from 230 in 2001/2 to 279 in 2002/3. The new official figures also show that Suffolk has higher figures than neighbouring east of England counties.

A copy of David Ruffley's letter to the Chief Constable is below.

David Ruffley said: 'The Suffolk figures are not good. These sex offending figures include paedophile offences. Public anxiety in Suffolk is high on this issue and I imagine will grow when the alleged Soham murderers come for trial in the Old Bailey in the next few months. I have written to the chief Constable to see what new technology might be used to monitor potential sex offenders. I will take this to the Home Secretary if necessary.'

Letter to Chief Constable Alistair Mc Whirter
16th September 2003

Mr Alastair McWhirter
Chief Constable
Suffolk Constabulary
Portal Avenue
Martlesham Heath

Dear Chief Constable,

I have been looking at the Suffolk Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements Annual Report 2002/3. It contains very worrying data.

I note that the total number of registered sex offenders in the Suffolk area rose from 230 in 2001/2 to 279 in 2002/3 (the latest figures).

I also note that the alternative way of presenting the figures shows an equally disturbing rising trend in the number of registered sex offenders. I note with some alarm that the figures for the number of registered sex offenders per 100,000 of the population in Suffolk compared with neighbouring counties are higher. Per hundred thousand the figures for 2001/2 in Suffolk were 34 sexual offenders and this has now risen in 2002/3 to 41. This compares with figures in Essex for those two years of 24 offenders rising to 27; in Cambridgeshire from 36 to 39; in Lincolnshire from 32 to 39.

I fully acknowledge that the Suffolk Constabulary works hard to crack down on sexual offending. I also acknowledge that the new Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) should yield improvements. My concern is that the trend is upward in the last twelve months and, notably, higher than neighbouring counties.

Accordingly, I should be grateful to hear from you as to what new measures are in the pipeline to tackle this problem. I would appreciate a full briefing on what new monitoring arrangements and regimes are in place in Suffolk to follow the activities of sex offenders or potential sex offenders. Do you have resources to introduce electronic tagging technology into your operating systems? Do you receive any Home Office funding for this?

If Suffolk is not getting the resources it needs from the Home Office this is something I would seek to raise with the Home Secretary in Parliament.

With kind Regards,