Police are set to use polygraph tests as a tool to manage known sex offenders in Cumbria.

Offenders will be subject to voluntary polygraph testing after a study from the University of Kent revealed that the technology can lead to new information being brought to light.

Cumbria Police is the eighth force in the UK to bring in polygraph testing technology.

Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “It is a highly effective and innovative piece of technology that we are utilising in Cumbria as a forward-thinking force.

"This will create an additional layer of monitoring for registered sex offenders which will further help to keep communities safe.”

The Chief Constable added that although the process is voluntary for monitored sex offenders, she hopes that it will become mandatory in the future.

The announcement of the new technology comes on week four of Cumbria Constabulary’s Operation MOVIE, a month-long campaign shining a spotlight on unseen policing. In particular, Cumbria Police are focusing on their work protecting vulnerable people as well as tackling hate crime and sexual assault.

The county's Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Safeguarding is a key part of Cumbria Constabulary’s core policing priorities and a large amount of police work that goes on to protect vulnerable people is unseen, such as the use of polygraph tests to help with their investigations.

"The polygraphs are used to monitor, for example, certain high-risk sex offenders. It records several bodily responses to indicate deception, such as blood pressure or sweaty palms, to detect traits associated with lying.

“If responses come back as deceptive from the polygraph test from, for example, a sex offender, it is not conclusive proof that the individual is lying but it could lead to further investigation or supervision. It is essential to invest in equipment that assists with keeping vulnerable people in our communities safe.”

The force has previously used borrowed equipment but now has its own polygraph technology which will be manned by specialist officers.