THE number of registered sexual offenders in Lancashire has gone up again, with new figures showing there are 1,146 living in the county.

That is an increase of 92 from last year and almost double the 637 sex offenders in 2002-03.

And, according to the annual Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements report, East Lancashire has the highest number of registered sexual offenders in the county.

John O’Reilly, from the Lancashire Police Federation, said that, with police in the county looking to make £50million of budget cuts, this area must not be hit.

He said: “This is one of our priority areas along with neighbourhood policing and we will make sure that every cut that the chief constable makes has the least impact on the public.”

Figures from the past 12 months, ending March 31, 2010, show there were 468 registered sex offenders in East Lancashire, up from last year’s total of 421.

They are required to notify the police of their name, address, and any changes in their personal details.

MAPPA produces the yearly report to show how the three public protection services — and other agencies — monitor high-risk sexual or violent offenders, with curfews, home visits and strict licence conditions.

There were relatively few breaches of orders, 121 throughout the county last year.

Area director Ian Phillips, head of public protection for Lancashire Probation Trust, said the number of sex offenders on the register would always grow because many were on it for life.

And he said that the key to managing them is settled accommodation.

He said: “The subject of sex offenders is a very emotive one and it’s understandable that people are concerned about them living in the community.”

Mr Phillips said they were to look into finding more accommodation for sex offenders.