Tyrone has highest number of sex offenders outside of Belfast and Derry

Sex offenders
Sex offenders

Tyrone and Fermanagh courts are currently dealing with one of the highest number of sex offenders in the North.

The number of sexual offences cases currently before local courts, including Dungannon, stands at 56, the third highest in the North, according to the latest figures released by the Minister of Justice David Ford.

Belfast courts have 122 cases, while Derry courts have 58. Armagh and South Down courts had the lowest number of sex offender cases at 46.

Across Northern Ireland, the police are currently investigating 461 cases.

The latest figures come after it was revealed that there are 133 convicted sexual predators being monitored in the local policing district, which includes the Dungannon area.

The figures were revealed after Justice Minister David Ford provided a breakdown of the number of offenders living in each police division, and insisted that the arrangements for protecting the public involved a number of key agencies assessing the potential risk posed by each individual.

Department of Justice figures show that the South Tyrone and Fermanagh area has the highest number of sex offenders bound by restrictions after a previous sexual offence committed overseas was detected.

It is believed that the six individuals became known to police after they were arrested in this jurisdiction for a separate offence and police requested a criminal record from their native country.

The DUP is raising concerns in the Assembly over the clustering of offenders.

Party chairman Lord Morrow welcomed a current PSNI crackdown on sexual offences but warned that an increased tally of convicted sexual offenders that might result from the policy could contribute to the clustering problem and pose an even greater risk to the public.

“I am not convinced the current system is working,” said Lord Morrow.

He added that the number of sex offenders being managed in the community was “striking” and stressed he was chiefly concerned with the clustering of offenders in certain areas.