Lie detector tests are to be introduced by South Yorkshire Police to check if known sex offenders are keeping to their bail conditions.
Two officers from the force are being sent to Texas in the USA to receive training to use the polygraph tests, and will work full time on the project.
The initiative is being funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright who said it would help protect vulnerable people and reduce the risks posed by offenders.
Tests will be offered on a voluntary basis as part of suspects’ probation or bail conditions.
The results will not be used to prosecute suspects but will help the police to address the likelihood of sex offenders and those caught in possession of indecent images of children re offending or breaching their bail.
The House of Commons recently passed laws allowing polygraph testing to be used in the UK. Training for two officers will cost the taxpayer £35,000.
Commissioner Wright said: “I made plain in my Police and Crime Plan that protecting the most vulnerable people in society was one of my key priorities and this important initiative is further illustration of how I am trying to achieve that aim. The programme will reduce investigation costs and help us protect more vulnerable people as we come to understand the risks associated with some of this criminal behaviour.”
In Hertfordshire Police trials, three quarters of offenders were said to be at higher risk of re offending than first classified.