TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A new state report says that the number of sexual offenders and predators living in Florida has risen by more than 50 percent in the last 13 years.
Legislative auditors reported late last week that nearly 29,000 registered sex offenders and predators now reside in the state. That's an increase of 53 percent since 2005. Orange County, home to Orlando, had the highest total number of sex offenders and predators in the state with 2,299.
Sex offenders and predators are people who have been convicted of certain sexual offenses. Court designates certain offenders as sex "predators" if they are deemed an "extreme threat" to public safety because they have targeted children or engaged in physical violence against their victims.
Sex offenders and predators are required to register with the state. A database operated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement allows people to see if a sex offender or sex predator lives near their home.