Registered and suspected sex offenders in South Yorkshire are undergoing lie detector tests, police have revealed.
A new report by South Yorkshire Police said the force is one of the few in the country making use of ‘polygraph testing’ on criminals on the sex offenders’ register, as well as anyone under investigation for possessing indecent images of children.
The force is monitoring 1,233 sex offenders across the county – up 110 from last year.
A police report for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said that the use of the polygraph tests was proving effective.
It said: “SYP is one of the few forces using polygraph testing for the management of all newly convicted or existing registered sex offenders and all suspects being investigated for the possession of indecent images.
“Two dedicated detectives work in the unit and the impact of their work has been considerable.
“In a number of cases, subjects have revealed previously undisclosed contact with children or other vulnerable people, others have revealed offending behaviour, which has resulted in arrest or further investigation whilst other subjects have revealed concerning risk behaviours that required mitigation.”
The report added: “So far, there have been 146 assessments of which two directly led to investigations, one registered sex offender admitted trying to fool the test, two other tests revealed potential breaches of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders and in the majority of the assessments information was revealed that was previously unknown to offender managers.”
Voluntary tests are also conducted on sex offenders being released back in the community to provide reassurances that ‘offenders released into the community are not, as far as is possible to tell, at risk of reoffending’.
High-risk offenders and new referrals to the offenders’ register are subjected to an active risk assessment process, allowing officers ‘to assess risk based on current circumstances and not historic risk levels making the assessment more meaningful and accurate’.