Almost 1,500 registered sex offenders are living in Essex, figures reveal.

Police forces, probation services and other government agencies keep tabs on dangerous criminals living in communities in England and Wales using special management plans known as Multi-Agency Protection Arrangements.

New Ministry of Justice figures reveal that 1,496 registered sex offenders were being managed under MAPPA in the Essex Police area as of March.

That’s a rate of 93 offenders in every 100,000 people, about average for England and Wales.

More than 60,000 sex offenders are registered with police forces across the two countries.

Children’s charity the NSPCC said while the figures were concerning, they were only “the tip of the iceberg”.

A spokeswoman said: “The scale of the problem is deeply concerning, but it is encouraging to see more offenders are coming to light and being put on the list of registered sex offenders, particularly as many of these could have committed the most serious sexual offences against children.

“We know from our own research that recorded child sexual offences are at an all-time high and it’s crucial the system is able to cope to ensure offenders are being properly monitored in the community.”