Revealed: 133 sex offenders in policing district which covers Dungannon

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There are 133 convicted sexual predators in the local policing district, which includes the Dungannon area, being monitored by police.

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.

“Evidence has shown this can lead to high public risk and potential reoffending,” he said.

“Recently there has been a notable increase in the prosecution of alleged sexual offences across all areas, for which the PSNI are to be commended,” the peer added.

Meanwhile , damages of £20,000 were awarded to a convicted sex offender in Northern Ireland who sued Facebook, the operator of a page called Keeping our Kids Safe from Predators 2.