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New report shows spike in sex offenders, predators in Florida

According to a new report by Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shows that nearly 29,000 registered sex offenders and predators live in Florida.

This new report, that was released December 2018, says it required field work in Lee County, and saw an increase of sex offenders and predators in most counties. Yet the report provides no reason for the big growth.

“It’s appalling, just appalling,” said Lee County resident Cheri Lawson.

Since 2005, the number of sex offenders and predators in Florida increased by 53 percent.

Federal laws were passed to register sex offenders and predators in 1994. Now, many are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of schools, childcare facilities or parks.

“I’m glad you know how many is out there because we have to worry about the kids,” said Lee County resident Judy Hamblin.

Of the nearly 29,000 registered sex offenders and predators, more than 1,300 live in southwest Florida, with Lee County with the most at 809.

“That’s really pitiful, yeah that’s really pitiful,” Lawson said.

But, Orange County has the most sex offenders and predators in Florida with 2,299.

Florida is one of the 17 states substantially compliant with the Federal Sex Offender Registration. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement provides a sex offender and predators search engine on their website anyone can use.

“Well, I’m glad,” Hamblin said. “I’m glad that someone stays on top of it, and don’t forget about it.”

For a full look of the report, click here.

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