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Lie detector permanent tool for cops.

Byline: NEAL KEELING neal.keeling@trinitymirror.com @NEALKEELINGMEN

POLICE are using lie detectors to manage sex offenders in Greater Manchester.

There are around 3,500 registered sex offenders in the region - and the number is growing by ten per cent each year.

Specialist officers are responsible for monitoring 65 sex offenders each when the recommended national guidelines is 50.

The force was one of the first to try out polygraphs to keep tabs on offenders in a pilot scheme. Now the force has decided to make them one tool in a package of measures.

Sex offenders can be made to take polygraphs as part of their licence conditions when released.

Approximate registered offenders Manchester Police visit offenders in the community to monitor their activity and the polygraph is used where the risk of re-offending is deemed highest. The offender can be asked if there are any other offences they wish to confess to and if they have had any contact with children - in breach of their licence conditions.

Those that are suspected to be lying can be subjected to a more traditional investigation to find out if they are committing sex offences again or breaching court orders.

The test, which can take between two and three hours, works by tracing changes in a person's behaviour during questioning.

Offenders who are out of prison on licence can be returned to jail if a failed test is backed up by other information which indicates they have breached the terms of an early release or they pose a risk to the public.

According to the British Polygraph Association, the test is 'highly reliable providing the person using it is properly trained.'.

Detective Chief Inspector Jude Holmes, of GMP's Serious Crime and Public Protection Division, said: "Polygraphing is one of a number of tactics that our Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) uses to help manage sex offenders living in the community.

"Using a polygraph allows us to approach our risk management plans from a more informed position, and the tactic has been overwhelmingly successful since we started piloting the process in April 2017.

number of sex in Greater "On countless occasions it has saved time and resources, as the process can often result in information being passed on which wouldn't have previously been available without us carrying out lengthy surveillance or checking a sex offender's electronic devices first.

"However, I think it is important to stress that any decisions on the potential risk posed by sex offenders are not based solely on the results of a polygraph test. There are other overt and covert tactics that we use, with the polygraph result acting as an indicator.'' DCI Holmes added: "Our primary focus is always to keep members of the public safe so having an additional tool available to help us manage and identify any potential risk can only be seen as a positive."

Now the force them of used offending approach our plans from position, has we the process result being wouldn't Approximate number of registered sex offenders in Greater Manchester 3,500

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Aug 20, 2019
Words:509
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