Police in Scotland have “lost” 12 registered sex offenders, according to a report.
The individuals who are wanted by officers north of the Border are all believed to no longer be in the UK.
Figures released by 41 UK police forces show the number of convicted sex offenders whose whereabouts are unknown is 485, an increase of more than 20 per cent in the last three years.
The missing offenders include rapists and paedophiles, according to a TV news investigation.
The figures come as victims of black cab rapist John Worboys campaign to overturn the decision to release him from prison.
Alex Mayes, from charity Victim Support, said: “These figures will potentially be very alarming to victims of sexual offences and could undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system … It is vital that the police strictly monitor sex offenders.”