On 1 April 2013, Police Scotland was introduced, which consolidated the previous eight police forces into a national force.

Each of the 13 Divisions has a dedicated Offender Management Unit (OMU) with specialist officers working in partnership through MAPPA to manage Registered Sex Offenders. A National Offender Management Unit (NOMU) was introduced to support Divisional OMU’s and to provide governance, audit and compliance in respect of all areas of offender management.

The National Offender Management Unit is responsible for collating and publishing statistics in respect of Registered Sex Offenders. The following table represents the current statistics in respect of Registered Sex Offenders in Scotland as of 31/07/2018.                                                                                                                            

 Division Registered Sex Offenders in the Community Registered Sex Offenders in custody/hospital
 Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray (North East) 402 127
 Forth Valley 226
 Tayside 378 131
 Edinburgh 345 138
 The Lothians and Scottish Borders 362 97
 Greater Glasgow 616 227
 Renfrewshire and Inverclyde 169 58
 Argyle and West Dunbartonshire 146 51
 Highland and Islands 220 70
 Fife 329 123
 Lanarkshire 477 147
 Ayrshire 345 117
 Dumfries and Galloway 121 42
 National Total 4136 1394

As of 31st July 2018, Police Scotland has 13 Wanted Registered Sex Offenders. Enquiries to date indicate 11 are outwith the UK.

One offender has since been traced and arrested returning to the UK.

* RSO – Registered Sex Offender

* In custody includes those RSOs who are currently in hospital


What is the difference between a wanted and missing sex offender?

A Missing person is defined as anyone whose whereabouts is unknown and:

  • where the circumstances are out of character; or
  • the context suggests the person may be subject to crime; or
  • the person is at risk of harm to themselves or another.

A Wanted Registered Sex Offender is defined as those who are subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and who have a live warrant in force.

Police Scotland treat all missing and wanted Registered Sex Offenders with the utmost seriousness and will carry out all possible enquiries to trace their whereabouts and to re-establish the management required to protect the public. On all occasions a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) of a rank no less than Inspector will be appointed to lead these investigations.