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  1. ITV Report

Merseyside Police 'failing' to check on high risk sex offenders often enough

Photo: pa

Merseyside Police’s sex offender unit is failing to visit high-risk sex offenders as often as it should, according to a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

The policing inspectorate found that Merseyside Police had a backlog of almost 100 overdue visits to registered sex offenders. It says heavy workloads and poor communication with neighbourhood police officers are reasons why the force is struggling to manage the risk posed by sex offenders.

The inspection says more work is needed to ensure consistent improvements in outcomes for vulnerable children. Credit: pa

The report concludes that despite showing a strong commitment to child protection and safeguarding, the inspection showed that much more work is needed to ensure consistent improvements in outcomes for vulnerable children.

I am encouraged to see that Merseyside Police is committed to doing more to keep children safe. When the force’s own case audit showed failings in how it responds to child protection incidents, it took quick and decisive action to tackle the problem head-on. This shows me that safeguarding children is a real priority for the service. But there is still plenty of room for improvement. At the time of our inspection, Merseyside Police’s sex offender unit was seriously overstretched. Offender managers were individually responsible for up to 100 registered sex offenders - double what we would like to see.This had a serious impact on the force’s ability to manage sex offenders.

– HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr