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NPCC calls for law change on polygraphs in offender management


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Polygraph testing could help police and probation teams make critical decisions about offenders, according to researchers.


Legal challege: NPCC wants the law changed on polygraphs

Date - 20th March 2020
By - Chris Smith

A report into the use of polygraph testing concluded it could be a “supportive tool” for managing offenders who live in the community, particularly those convicted of sexual offences.

The report, commissioned by National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) found risk-relevant disclosures made by offenders can help better protect the public by improving the assessments made by officers.

Decisions on release and probation management are currently under review following the London Bridge terrorist attack which was carried out by a man who had been freed from prison after being convicted of extremism offences.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is considering the option for convicted terrorists but the researchers at the University of Kent voluntary and mandatory polygraph testing increases the evidence of the risk posed by convicted sex offenders.

The issue is controversial as it involves potential offences rather than crimes that have evidence of being planned or have already taken place.

The research was carried out by the University of Kent’s Centre of Research and Education in Forensic Psychology (CORE-FP) over a two-year period. Information was provided by police officers including disclosures made by offenders, the seriousness of disclosures, and actions taken in response.

Professor Jane Wood, Chartered Forensic Psychologist and project lead said: “Our findings support the police use of polygraph testing, particularly mandatory polygraph testing, as a supportive tool for managing individuals convicted of sexual offences who live in the community. This is because polygraph testing elicits important new information related to risk that would ordinarily remain unknown.”

For the testing to be admissible as evidence for decisions, existing laws would have to be changed.

National Police Chiefs' Council's Lead for the Management of Sexual and Violent Offenders, Chief Constable Michelle Skeer, said: “We will give this research careful consideration alongside others in policing and the Home Office as the recommendation would require a change in the law.

"Policing in the UK has some of the most advanced and effective tools in the world to manage registered sex offenders and every day officers effectively manage the risk posed to the public by such people. This will always be a complex area of work for police and we continue to look at innovative ways, tools and technologies to keep people safe."

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Consider how easy they are to beat with prescription meds, and they're not hard to beat.  Alternatively a lot of ND people can smash them due to their different ways of presentation. 

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