The number of sex offenders living in Devon and Cornwall increased over the past three years, new figures show.

Police forces, probation services and other government agencies supervise and keep track of sex offenders and violent criminals in communities across England and Wales through multi-agency public protection arrangements.

Data from the Ministry of Justice shows 2,090 people convicted of sex crimes were being managed under MAPPAs in the Devon and Cornwall policing area at the end of March this year, up from 2,065 the year previous.

The area has seen a year-on-year increase from 2,036 in 2020 and 1,980 in 2019.

The rate of sex offenders among residents in the area now stands at 130 in 100,000 people – up from 129 in 2021.

Sex offenders made up 79% of those being managed through MAPPAs in Devon and Cornwall this year.

There were also 559 violent offenders and eight other dangerous offenders under the arrangements in the area.

Nationally, 66,741 sex offenders are on MAPPAs, up 4% on last year and up 65% from ten years ago. The rate of sex offenders among the population was 126 per 100,000 at the end of March this year.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The number of sex offenders being monitored increases every year as many are put on the sex offenders register for life when they are convicted."

There were 22,304 violent offenders and 393 other dangerous offenders under MAPPAs across England and Wales at the end of March.

The Ministry of Justice recorded a significant jump in sexual harm prevention orders last year, which coincided with a 57% increase in the number of people convicted of sexual offences in 2020-21 following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions on courts.

SHPOs are applied when the court believes a protection order is needed to protect the public from sexual harm and can include a ban on foreign travel to protect children from sexual harm abroad.

A total of 5,753 SHPOs were handed down nationally in the year to March – up 33% from 4,325 in 2020-21. Of these, 151 were imposed on offenders in Devon and Cornwall last year.

A Home Office spokesperson added they are pleased to see police using SPHOs to target people responsible for "horrific abuse".

"We have some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with sex offenders, and those that pose a risk of sexual harm, to ensure the public is protected," they said.

Rachel Almeida, Victim Support assistant director of knowledge and insight, said the charity is "extremely worried" about an increase in sexual violence – and particularly rape – being reported to police nationally.

She said it comes in the context of "poor conviction rates and horrendous court delays".

Ms Almedia added: "It is vital that these reports are taken seriously and that the justice system has the resources to ensure that victims get the care, support and protection they need – and that justice is served.”