Friday, October 19, 2012

AUSTRALIA - Online sex offenders register a possibility

Original Article


By Adam Davies

The publication of an online sex offender register is fraught with danger, according to a Toowoomba legal academic.

Several Australian states are watching with interest after authorities in Western Australia created a website that provides the public with photographs and certain information on the state's worst sexual offenders.

The website went live this week.

University of Southern Queensland law lecturer Craig Burgess said while he could see both sides of the argument, the website could open a Pandora's box.

"I can understand some people would like to know where sex offenders are located, but where does it stop?" Mr Burgess said.

"As a principal of law, once a person has served their time, they have served their time."

"Why should they be punished further?"

"There are certainly two sides to the story, but (it could be) an invitation for people to take the law into their own hands."

Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said that the LNP Government had not considered an online register of sex offenders but did not rule it out.

"I am not averse to the idea of looking at what WA is doing, but it is not a priority at the moment," Mr Bleijie said.

"What we have done with our laws for sex offenders, particularly child sex offenders, if you are convicted of a child sex offence and serve time in prison, and you come out and do it again, then there is a mandatory life imprisonment."

"If we want Queensland to be the safest place to raise a child, then unfortunately the best place for some of these people to be is behind bars."

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Pope said there was no evidence to suggest the site would actually work.

"The evidence from all over the world suggests these types of sites do not work. They are dangerous," Mr Pope said.

"All it does is promote vigilantism."

"These people have served their time and should be allowed to be rehabilitated in the community."

"All this is based on the presumption that they will reoffend."

Detective Inspector Darren Smith from Toowoomba Police refused to comment on the number of registered sex offenders living in Toowoomba or how police manage those offenders.

No comments :