North East forces reveal numbers of 'missing' sex offenders
Police have lost track of 485 registered sex offenders across Britain including rapists and paedophiles.
Forces across the UK were asked to reveal the number of registered sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown on 17 January in a report compiled by Sky News.
Responses from the North East's forces were as follows:
The force said five registered sex offenders were wanted because their whereabouts were unknown.
One had been missing since 2005, two went missing in 2017 and two went missing in 2018.
Offences included a sexual assault on a girl, attempting a child to engage in sexual activity, rape of a boy under 16, sexual assault on a girl under 16 and indecent assault on a girl.
The force said one registered sex offender was missing since 2013.
The force said there were three registered sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown.
One went missing in April 2016. It refused to reveal when the other two disappeared.
Offences included sexual assault, indecent assault and grooming.
Michelle Skeer, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for the management of sexual offenders and violent offenders, said: "The number of recorded wanted or missing sex offenders represents less than 1% of the total and a proportion of these are, following investigation, either known or believed to be living abroad or have returned to their country of
"When registered sex offenders are missing or wanted in the UK, all police forces are alerted. If they return to the UK, there are processes in place to ensure that they are brought to the attention of police and arrested where appropriate.
"The UK has some of the most effective tools in the world to manage registered sex offenders.
"While the reality is that the risks posed to the public by such individuals can never be completely eliminated, there is significant evidence that the multi-agency public protection arrangements successfully keeps them to a minimum."