A convicted sex offender had admitted reoffending after police asked him to take a lie detector test when concerns were raised about his behaviour.
Essex Police said the man, who had previous convictions for indecent exposure, was tested following a referral from detectives.
He consented to the test and, when questioned about his results, admitted reoffending. The man in question was not on probation, Essex Police confirmed.
Officers then secured a sexual harm prevention order through the courts, which included a condition that he must submit to a polygraph test when requested by police.
If he refuses it will be a breach of the order and he will be arrested, interviewed and could face the courts.
Essex Police now plans to extend the scheme to test previous offenders.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Sandford said: “We use the polygraph test to get information about whether or not a sex offender is reoffending, so that we can assess the risk they pose to the public and ensure they are complying with sexual harm prevention orders imposed by the courts.
“We can’t force people to take part unless it forms part of a court order and the results of a polygraph test can’t be used as evidence in court.
“But the benefits are that it shows they are willing to engage and co-operate with the authorities, and it can prevent us relying on more intrusive methods of monitoring.”
The test is carried out in three stages, with an interview, followed by the polygraph test and a post-test discussion.
Last year it emerged 63 sex offenders were sent back to prison after probation officers used lie detector tests while they were on early release.
“We have seen some participants tell us about reoffending during the pre-test interview and others make admissions after undergoing the polygraph,” Mr Sandford added. “We have had occasions where offenders have admitted further offences or breaches of preventative orders, which have triggered investigations that are ongoing.
“We have also seen some admit that they may have potential contact with children, which has allowed us to directly intervene and keep people safe.”
Essex Police is one of just four forces in the country to use polygraph testing to manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders.
Two officers have completed a course to become trained polygraph examiners. Select police officers from Hertfordshire, Kent and South Yorkshire have also undertaken training.
Officers from Northumbria and Manchester police forces are also understood to be taking an 11-week course in the autumn.
The Telegraph | By Cristina Criddle | 27 July 2016 • 12:51pm