Police have lost track of hundreds of convicted sex offenders across the UK.
New figures show that 396 registered sex offenders are wanted by 39 regional forces – including some who have been missing for more than a decade.
One convicted sex offender in Gloucestershire has been missing for more than 14 years and another in Northumbria disappeared in May 2002.
In pictures: Top 10 safest cities
In pictures: Top 10 safest cities
1/8 2. Singapore
One of just three city-states in the world, along with Monaco and Vatican City, Singapore boasts very low crime rates: in 2012 there were 80 days straight without a single robbery reported. This proud nation prints the entire national anthem on the back of its $1,000 notes, and is home to the first “Hug Me” Coca-Cola machine, which dispenses bottles of pop when hugged. Wow.
2/8 3. Osaka
The second Japanese city in the top ten safest list, Osaka enjoys a similar atmosphere of calm to its more famous older sister, Tokyo. It is home to Universal Studios Japan and an entire Manga shopping district, “Den Den Town”.
3/8 4. Stockholm
The safest European city is also one of the richest, among the top 10 regions in the continent by GDP per capita. It also hosts the annual Nobel Prize for literature, medicine, physics, chemistry and economics, but contrary to the city’s harmonious atmosphere, the Peace Prize is the only Nobel awarded elsewhere, in Norway’s Oslo.
4/8 5. Amsterdam
A famously liberal attitude towards drugs and the sex trade obviously hasn’t had a detrimental impact on Amsterdam’s safety: it’s in the top five safest cities in the world. Just watch you don’t fall into a canal after indulging in one too many “brownies”…
5/8 6. Sydney
Ironically where Britain once sent its criminals, people now leave in their droves to live in safe Sydney, famous for offering a healthy, outdoor lifestyle and home to a certain opera house. Perhaps all that sunshine has something to do with it?
Tourism New South Wales
6/8 7. Zurich
This city has a relatively small population, and has infamously low tax rates, which might go some way to explain its place in the top safest cities in the world. It’s also often named as the place offering the best quality of life. Lucky old Zurich.
7/8 9. Melbourne
The second Australian city in the top ten for safety, Melbourne is rated the highest in “liveability” in the whole world. In the same survey last year it scored perfect rating for healthcare, education and infrastructure.
8/8 10. New York
Perhaps one of the more surprising on the safety list is The Big Apple, which actually scores pretty badly in terms of “liveability”. Contrary to its violent reputation, at least in Brooklyn and the Bronx, violent crime has been dropping since 1990, and last year saw the lowest number of homicides since records began in 1963.
Humberside Police said the whereabouts of one registered sex offender had been unknown since September 2004.
None of the 4,775 registered sex offenders have been missing in Scotland. Cumbria and City of London Police also reported no missing offenders.
Those who are registered on the sex offenders list – including convicted rapists and paedophiles – are required to keep police and probation officers informed of any change of address under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).
The Metropolitan Police said 167 registered sex offenders were wanted in London alone, including one who had been missing for 14 years.
However, due to the capital’s diverse multi-cultural population, a large per cent of the missing offenders are “either known or believed to be living abroad, having returned to their country of origin.”
Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was abducted and killed in 2000 by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that any registered sex offenders have disappeared from authority management, putting the public at risk.
“It’s time to take some serious proactive action to bring them back under the police radar.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “The UK has some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders and we are committed to ensuring the system is as robust as possible.
“It is for the police to manage offenders in their area, but we work closely with forces to ensure legislation is effective and that officers have all the tools they need.”
Missing registered sex offenders: In numbers
Metropolitan Police: 167
West Midlands Police: 39
Greater Manchester Police: 25
Essex Police: 11
Sussex Police: 11
Cambridgeshire Police: 10
South Yorkshire Police: 10
Northamptonshire Police: 9
Kent Police: 8
Humberside Police: 7
Lincolnshire Police: 7
Nottinghamshire Police: 6
Warwickshire Police: 6
West Mercia Police: 6
Avon and Somerset Police: 6
Derbyshire Constabulary: 6
Wiltshire Police: 5
Suffolk Constabulary: 5
Lancashire Police: 5
Thames Valley Police: 5
South Wales Police: 4
Hampshire Police: 4
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI): 3
Merseyside Police: 3
Gloucestershire Constabulary: 3
Devon and Cornwall Police: 3
Bedfordshire Police: 3
Hertfordshire Constabulary: 2
Gwent Police: 2
North Wales Police: 2
Surrey Police: 2
North Yorkshire Police: 2
Northumbria Police: 2
Leicestershire Police: 2
Cleveland Police: 1
Cheshire Police: 1
Dyfed Powys Police: 1
Durham Police: 1
Norfolk Constabulary: 1
Police Scotland: 0
Cumbria Constabulary and City of London: 0
West Yorkshire Police said it needed more time to respond. Press Association did not receive replies from Dorset and Staffordshire police forces.Reuse content