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 31/03/2017.                                                                                                                            

 Division Registered Sex Offenders in the Community Registered Sex Offenders in custody/hospital Indefinite Notification Reviews conducted in March 2017 Number of Notification Continuation Orders made in March 2017 Number of Notification Continuation Orders not Required in March 2017
 Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray (North East) 342 120 0 0 0
 Forth Valley 198
 60 0 0 0
 Tayside 360 130 0 0 0
 Edinburgh 341 127 0 0 0
 The Lothian's and Scottish Borders 348 95 0 0 0
 Greater Glasgow 627 219 0 0 0
 Renfrewshire and Inverclyde 162 51 0 0 0
 Argyle and West Dunbartonshire 123 46 0 0 0
 Highland and Islands 214 57 0 0 0
 Fife 352 104 0 0 0
 Lanarkshire 455 131 0 0 0
 Ayrshire 312 116 0 0 0
 Dumfries and Galloway 128 38 0 0 0
 National Total 3962 1294 0 0 0

As of 31st March 2017, Police Scotland has 7 Wanted Registered Sex Offenders. Enquiries to date indicate 6 have left the UK.  One was within the UK, however, they have since been traced and arrested. 

* RSO – Registered Sex Offender

* In custody includes those RSO’s who are currently in hospital

* Indefinite Notification Reviews

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Remedial) (Scotland) Order 2011 was introduced on 28 January 2011. The Remedial Order provides sex offenders who are subject to the Sexual Offences Notification Requirements (SONR), for an indefinite period with a mechanism for reviewing the justification for them continuing to remain subject to those requirements.

The Chief Constable can make a Notification Continuation Order (NCO) if they are satisfied that an offender continues to pose a risk of sexual harm to the public or to any particular members of the public or alternatively they can decree that the SONR should cease. The Chief Constable can impose a NCO for a fixed period of no more than 15 years.


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.