News Day

Sex offenders tracked


October 17 NEWS DAY

The State Government will spend $6.1 million to track 18 dangerous sex offenders using GPS technologies.

Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper (pictured) introduced an amendment to the Dangerous Sex Offenders Bill into State Parliament today that will allow the Supreme Court to compel certain sex offenders to wear a GPS device attached to their arm or leg.

“They are very much like the mapping systems on your navigation systems,” Mr Cowper said.

“If they go within an area they’re not supposed to go, it sets of an alarm and alerts people of this occurrence.”

The Department of Corrective Services would work with police to track the 18 known offenders and prevent them from entering certain areas of the community.

“The department will be able to set curfews so that dangerous sex offenders will not be able to be at certain locations at certain times,” Mr Cowper said.

“A Department of Corrective Services officer will be on call 24/7, working closely with the police to make sure we have capacity to locate dangerous sex offenders and, if need be, dispatch police in [a] timely manner to get those people off the streets if they breach the permissions of their supervision orders.”

If an offender interfered with a device, they would serve a mandatory jail sentence of 12 months.

Mr Cowper said the government would not need to hire more staff to accommodate the Public Protection Unit and oversee the GPS tracking.

“We are currently looking at our overall operations and we’re quite comfortable with what we’ve got at the moment but if the commissioner or the director general comes back to me with a problem, we’ll work through it with the treasury,” he said.

Queensland and New South Wales already use GPS technologies to track dangerous sex offenders.

Photo: Carys Garland

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