THERE are almost 700 registered sex offenders living in Wiltshire, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Justice.
The figures have been published in the latest Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) report.
MAPPA - a set of arrangements by police forces, probation services and other government agencies to manage the risk posed by the most serious sexual and violent offenders - says it was managing 685 registered sex offenders in the Wiltshire Police area as of March this year.
In Hampshire, there were 2,109 registered sex offenders.
Over the last five years, the number of sex offenders in Wiltshire has increased by 161, or 31 per cent. In Hampshire, it has increased by 394 or 23 per cent.
The figures also show that 183 violent offenders were living in Wiltshire in March and 454 in Hampshire.
This could include other sexual offenders not on the register, as well as those who have committed crimes such as murder, kidnapping and grievous bodily harm.
There are more than 600 violent offenders across Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Children’s charity NSPCC say the figures are “deeply concerning”, and that they are only the “tip of the iceberg.”
A spokesperson said: “The scale of the problem is deeply concerning, but it is encouraging to see that more offenders are coming to light and being put on the list of registered sex offenders, particularly as many of these could have committed the most serious sexual offences against children.
“We know from our own research that recorded child sexual offences are at an all-time high and it’s crucial that the system is able to cope to ensure offenders are being properly monitored in the community.
But these figures are the tip of the iceberg so it is vital to report signs of sexual abuse where they occur.”
Across England and Wales more than 60,000 sex offenders are registered in total.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “Since 2010, more perpetrators of sex offences are being convicted, sentenced and imprisoned.
This Government is overhauling the criminal justice system - investing £2.75 billion in prisons, recruiting 20,000 new police officers and changing sentences to protect the public from the most violent and sexual offenders.”
Sex offenders who are sentenced to at least 30 months in prison remain on the register indefinitely although some can apply to be removed after 15 years following a change to the law in 2012.
Both Wiltshire Police and Hampshire Constabulary removed seven people from the register following an application last year.
Over the last five years, the sex offender population in Wiltshire has increased by 161, or 31%. whilst in Hampshire it has increased by 394 or 23%
Across Wiltshire and Hampshire there are more than 2.700 registered sex offenders.