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Identifying future repeat danger from sexual offenders against children: a focus on those convicted and those strongly suspected of such crime.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/06/2005
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Journal number2
Volume16
Number of pages23
Pages225-247
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study provides a 14 - 16-year criminological follow-up, to the end of 2003, of all those convicted or strongly suspected of committing sexual offences against children in one English county, Lancashire, between 1987 and 1989 (inclusive). The main analysis focuses on 124 males (40%) convicted compared with 188 males (60%) strongly suspected but not convicted. The age and sex of the victims and the relationship between offender and victim show no significant association with conviction status, but the former group tend to be older. Of the 103 convicted adult males, 20% were reconvicted for a sexual offence, whereas of the 116 adult males strongly suspected but not convicted, 9% had a subsequent conviction for a sexual offence. However, the difference is largely explained by their predicted risk scores. The risk assessment tool used, Static-99, is shown to be remarkably effective in identifying high-risk members of the two groups. The 93 convicted and strongly suspected males in the total sample aged under 18 tend to offend against acquaintances (54%), and target a female victim (69%) and a younger (5 - 7 years) age group of children (48%). The convicted young males had a higher rate of subsequent sex convictions (14.3%) than those suspected but not convicted (1.4%). The policy implications of the findings are addressed.

Bibliographic note

25% contribution RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Social Work and Social Policy & Administration