Sexual Offences and Terrorism: Lie Detectors

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th June 2022.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the data his Department holds on the effectiveness of polygraph testing of convicted (a) terrorist and (b) sex offenders.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

Prior to polygraph testing being fully rolled out across the Probation Service in 2014, an evaluation of its effectiveness with high-risk sex offenders released on licence was undertaken and a report published in 2012. The report is publicly available here:

The evaluation of the mandatory polygraph pilot (

Provisions in the Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021 introduced polygraph testing for terrorist offenders, and those provisions came into force in June 2021. The Government committed to undertake a review of its use with terrorist offenders after a two-year period, and report on its findings.

The report will be a process evaluation focusing on specific points, including the numbers of terrorist offenders subject to testing, how results of polygraph testing have been used, the effect of testing on compliance with licence conditions and how frequently terrorist offenders are recalled to prison on the basis of polygraph test results. The report is scheduled to be laid before Parliament in Autumn 2023.

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