THE number of registered sex offenders living in the Lothian and Borders area has risen by more than 100 in the past four years.
The total in 2012/13 was 654 compared with 544 in 2008/09.
Across Scotland the increase was from 2984 in 2008/09 to 3314 last year.
Victim support groups described the figures as “worrying”.
Eileen Maitland, a spokeswoman for Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “Whatever the reasons underlying these figures, a rising number of sex offenders in the community has to be something that raises concern.
“However effective the measures to deal with such offenders and monitor their activities, it is vital that public safety lies at the heart of any plan or programme and can be guaranteed.”