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Sex Offenders (Monitoring)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 10th March 2016.

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Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

I am aware of the statistics that the member refers to, but he will be aware that a significant proportion of those are associated with historical cases that have been outstanding for some time and are now being reported. Of course, it is important that we are confident that we have robust measures in place to deal with the risks that registered sex offenders may pose.

The member will be aware of the robust multi-agency public protection arrangements that we have in Scotland, which Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary in Scotland and the Care Inspectorate considered last year. In the report that they published, they set out what they believe to be the significant ways in which we deal with registered sex offenders; they also made several recommendations about further improvements, and we are taking forward that work.

In relation to accommodation, one of the recommendations that we are taking forward is about streamlining and reducing the bureaucracy that is associated with aspects of the environmental risk assessment for housing registered sex offenders. The national strategic group, which will be responsible for the governance and scrutiny of the process, met last month to consider how to take that work forward.