More than a dozen dangerous offenders in Devon and Cornwall were returned to custody after they broke their probation agreements, new figures show.
Police forces, probation services and other government agencies supervise and keep track of sex offenders, violent criminals and other dangerous individuals in communities across England and Wales through multi-agency public protection arrangements.
Data from the Ministry of Justice shows 2,611 people convicted of a serious offence were being managed under MAPPAs in the Devon and Cornwall Police area at the end of March this year – down from 2,657 the year before.
However, probation services across the country returned more criminals to custody after they breached their licence than in any year since 2009-10.
Some 1,037 offenders broke their probation agreement and were returned to custody, a 19% rise on the year before and the fifth successive annual increase.
Of these, 13 were in Devon and Cornwall – down from 16 in 2021-22.
Michaela-Clare Addison, national sexual violence lead at charity Victim Support, said: "A crucial reason for having these licence conditions is to protect victims and the public – so it is seriously concerning to see them increasing year on year, leading to the highest number of breaches in over a decade.
"These figures must lead to action. We need to see more focus on prevention and management of offenders, as well as services for victims, to support those potentially being put at risk."
Meanwhile, as of March, there was a record 68,357 people on the sex offender's register across England and Wales, including 2,032 in Devon and Cornwall.
The number of sex offenders who have breached their notification requirements, which includes providing the relevant information for the sex offender register, rose by 25% from 1,905 in 2021-22 to 2,382 last year.
Of these, 36 were in Devon and Cornwall.
A Probation Service Spokesperson said: "We will always put public protection first and when offenders breach their licence conditions they face being returned to custody."