Essex

Sex offenders given lie detector tests to manage reoffending risk

Polygraph test Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Polygraph tests are used to "help manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders", Essex Police said

Convicted sex offenders are to be given lie detector tests to see if they might reoffend, a police force has said.

Essex Police tested one man after concerns were raised about his behaviour, and when quizzed about the results he admitted he had reoffended.

The force said the tactic would be used "alongside a range of tools and tactics" to assess the risk of committing further crime.

Two of the force's officers have been trained in how to conduct the tests.

Essex Police is the fourth force countrywide to start using the tactic.

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After the offender was tested and admitted he had committed further crimes, Essex Police obtained a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) through the courts which included a condition he must submit to a polygraph test if police asked him to.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Essex Police said polygraph tests are used "alongside a range of tools and tactics"

The exam is carried out in three stages, with an interview, followed by the polygraph test and a post-test discussion.

Det Ch Insp Jim Sandford said some participants had admitted reoffending during the pre-test interview, with others admitting their crimes after the polygraph.

"We can't force people to take part unless it forms part of a court order and the results of a polygraph test can't be used as evidence in court," he said.

"But the benefits are that it shows they are willing to engage and cooperate with the authorities, and it can prevent us relying on more intrusive methods of monitoring."

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