Pests, Paedos, and Perverts: Should you be worried about living near someone on the Violent and Sexual Offences Register?

Content Warning: references to sexual violence.

A Freedom of Information request from York Vision to North Yorkshire Police has revealed that, as of September, there were 52 people on the Violent and Sexual Offences Register in the ‘YO10’  districts surrounding the University of York.

Where is ‘YO10’?

The postal district, which encompasses Fishergate, Fulford, Heslington, Osbaldwick, and Tang Hall, has 3603 houses occupied by students.


What is the Violent and Sexual Offences Register?

The definition of sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is wide and covers a range of offences, against both children and other individuals, from rape to voyeurism.

The Violent and Sexual Offences Register contains the details of all those convicted of a crime under the Sexual Offences Act (2003). The Register (also known as ViSOR) requires those convinced of violent and/or sexual offences to register with police and provide officers with details of their address and travel plans.

Police forces can photograph offenders every time they register, and exchange any information they have about registered offenders and their movements.

FOI requests by the BBC in March revealed that North Yorkshire was one of the least likely forces in the UK to accept a request to be removed from the Register, accepting only one in fourteen of applications, or 7%.

How does York compare with the region and nationally?

Within the North Yorkshire Police jurisdiction as a whole, 1073 people are on the Register, according to figures obtained by Vision this August. This means that five per cent of those on the Register in North Yorkshire live within the YO10 postcode. Nationally, The NPCC reported over 52,000 people are Visor registered in the UK.

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Should I be worried about people on the Register and Sexual Assault and Harassment in York?

Breach of the sex offender notification requirements is a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. 97.1% of registered sex offenders complied with their notification requirements leading to caution or conviction.

Only 0.13 per cent of registered sex offenders were charged with a serious further offence; where as statistically speaking you are more likely to be sexually assaulted or harassed by people who you know.

Complete Student Guide reported this year that The University of York is one of the safest universities  in the country, with low reported levels of crime.

Sexual harassment and assault do still occur at Fishergate, Fulford, Heslington, Osbaldwick, Tang Hall, and the University of York at staggering levels.

In 2016, YUSU President Millie Beech advised students:

Don’t walk home alone [at night], download the SafeZone app for round-the clock reassurance on campus, and if you see anything suspicious, don’t be afraid to alert campus security or call the police.

To find out more about SafeZone, or to download the app: click here

Editors Note: Whilst records on the population in ViSOR are available locally, regionally, and nationally, they are not concurrent. The most recent data available was instead used for comparison:

  • YO10 ViSOR records were from September 2017
  • North Yorkshire Police jurisdiction ViSOR records were from August 2017
  • UK-wide ViSOR records were from March 2016