Lie detectors will help monitor Doncaster sex offenders

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Lie detectors are to be used to monitor sex offenders in South Yorkshire.

The initiative is being funded by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, who said it would help protect vulnerable people and reduce the risks posed by potential offenders.

Tests will be offered on a voluntary basis as part of probation or bail conditions. The results will not be given in court as part of a prosecution, but will help the police address the risk factor of sex offenders and those caught in possession of indecent images of children.

South Yorkshire Police officers will be able to use it as a key tool to help them assess the risk factor of individuals on bail or probation and it will enable officers to address areas of concern for further investigation.

In trials run by Hertfordshire Police, it led to three-quarters of offenders having their risk status and management increased, so offering greater protection to the public.

Suspects arrested for indecent child image offences are currently released on bail, whilst thorough investigative technical work is carried out. By assessing the risk factor of the offender, it will help police prioritise the criminal investigations and to determine if the individual is a further risk to the community.

Commissioner Wright said: “I made plain in my Police and Crime Plan that protecting the most vulnerable people is society was one of my key priorities and this important initiative is further illustration of how I am trying to achieve that aim.

“The programme will reduce investigation costs and help us protect more vulnerable people as we come to understand the risks associated with some of this criminal behaviour.