GPS tracking of sex offenders begins in South Australia
Shouldn't we be using this type of technology in all states..!
A NOTORIOUS child-sex offender who has breached his paedophile restraining order more than 50 times in 16 years will be one of the first to be fitted with a GPS tracking device by police.
He is one of 10 serious sex offenders to be tracked by authorities for the next two years, after changes to the Child Sex Offender Registration Act came into effect last July 2014.
Two paedophiles were fitted with a tracking bracelet last week and another five were given a device on Tuesday.
A further three child-sex offenders will each be required to wear one of the ankle-bracelet trackers once they are released from jail “in the near future”.
Assistant Commissioner Paul Dickson said police assessed about 320 serious registrable child-sex offenders and picked 10 to be tracked.
While the technology would be used for surveillance, or “live monitoring”, in some instances it would mainly be a tool for monitoring behaviour “in review”. The number of offenders was likely to increase.
“It’s really about public safety. We have people who have had previous convictions for serious offences against children,” Mr Dickson said.
“We can monitor serious sexual offenders who pose a significant risk to the community.”
He said if a tracked paedophile being was banned from going near schools, swimming centres and public toilets, it would be easy for authorities to prove they had breached their restraining order.
“It also provides us with another avenue to monitor behaviour,” he said.
“These individuals will know they’re wearing the device, so it may stop them from acting in that opportunistic manner.
“If they do commit an offence, it’s going to be easy for us to identify. It’s a bit like CCTV in that way.”
Mr Dickson said police assessed sex offenders based on their crimes, personal circumstances and their previous compliance with restraining orders or suspended sentences.
“Some of these individuals, the way they operate is very much around opportunity and this, in a way, is about monitoring their opportunity,” he said.
One offender to be tracked has convictions for sexual offences, including unlawful sexual intercourse and possession of child pornography, has breached a paedophile restraining order more than 50 times and has breached bail.
Another with an extensive criminal history over the past 20 years, including convictions for child pornography and indecent behaviour, has 10 bail breaches over the past 15 years.
Mr Dickson said the Correctional Services Department would monitor the tracking data and police would be able to review the information.
Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk said information gathered from the GPS tracking devices could also be used as evidence if a sex offender commits a crime or failed to comply with a restraining order.
“(To be tracked), they have to commit three offences on separate occasions, which can range from assaults to the abduction of children,” he said.
“Many of them have a term of imprisonment attached to them or suspended sentences.”
Of the 1681 South Australians on the sex offender register, 224 are still in custody.
About 320 of the 1457 registrable sex offenders not in custody are in the serious category, many of which have committed crimes against children.
Under the law, people who remove the tracking bracelet face a maximum two-year jail term or $10,000 fine.
Police are required to serve a notice on those they intend to track. Those required to wear a GPS tracker have 28 days to appeal the decision.
Police said the eight-month delay between the new law coming into effect and the GPS tracking devices being fitted was due to the “complex” legislation.
Victims’ Rights Commissioner Michael O’Connell said the technology would help authorities but should not be relied upon.
“While many victims probably will feel safer knowing those who hurt them are being monitored, a few victims, despite the electronic monitoring, likely will perceive releasing offenders into the community as lenient,” he said.
“The technology should support a comprehensive program designed to protect victims and deter offenders from re-offending.
“No technology is foolproof. It will help, but victims and the public will continue to rely on vigilance of police and corrections staff.”
Correctional Services Minister Tony Piccolo said he was pleased to see the tracking units, for which funding was provided in last year’s budget, being rolled out.
“These units provide for real-time monitoring and the creation of exclusion zones, where those under supervision cannot enter,” he said.
Among those being tracked
A MAN with multiple convictions for sexual offences, including unlawful sexual intercourse and possession of child porn, who has breached a paedophile restraining order more than 50 times and has breached bail.
A MAN with an extensive criminal history over the past 20 years, including convictions for child porn and indecent behaviour and who has 10 bail breaches over the past 15 years.
A MAN twice convicted of indecent assault of a child, one of them aged under 10 and the other aged under 14.
See more at: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/gps-tracking-of-sex-offenders-begins-in-sa/story-fni6uo1m-1227246678205
WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD GPS TRACKERS BE USED IN ALL STATES?
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