SEX offenders in York and North Yorkshire are to have their computers monitored by a new police search system.

Julia Mulligan, the region’s new Police and Crime Commissioner, has approved the purchase of a system called Triage, which will be able to carry out remote checks of PCs owned by registered sex offenders and send a warning to officers if they type certain key words.

North Yorkshire Police said the system would be used by the force’s eight public protection officers, who manage more than 500,000 sex offenders in the region.

They currently visit them twice a year, but police chiefs said this did not always allow enough time to assess their lifestyle and whether they may be committing further crimes. A report by Assistant Chief Constable Iain Spittal said reoffenders may only be caught during a police operation and, by that time, they may have been offending for some time.

It also said computer technology was developing at a rate which made it “impossible” to keep training officers to carry out manual “invasive” computer checks, meaning there was a need for Triage.

The report said if the Triage search suggests the sex offender’s behaviour online is not as it should be, this will allow police to arrest them. The new system will cost £11,534 and will be bought in early next year.