Plan to include murderers on sex offenders register will only put greater stress on already failing system – Naughten

In Families by Denis Naughten

Denis Naughten TD has criticised reports that that the Minister for Justice and Defence,
Alan Shatter TD, is to incorporate a new register of violent offenders into the existing Sexual
Offenders Register, claiming that it will undermine an already failing system.

Naughten Explained: “I support the idea of the establishment of a violent offenders register in
principle, but operating the list as an extension of the so called “Sexual Offenders Register”
will be of very little value so long as the register remains so abjectly flawed.

At present those on the register only have to give their name and address to the Gardaí, the
information they give goes through no verification system, they don’t even need to present
themselves at the local Garda Station. Yet, even with a monitoring regime as basic as this,
there has been 100 sex offenders prosecuted for breaking the terms of their release in the past
18 months.”

Naughten continued: “The fact of the matter is the sex offenders register isn’t fit for purpose
and adding the names of violent offenders to this list will only muddy the waters, and prevent
the designing of an appropriate monitoring regime suited to the victimology profile of each
group of offenders.”

Naughten, who last month published Bill which would strengthen post release monitoring
of child sex offenders and give the Gardaí the power to disclose limited information to
the parents of children and vulnerable adults who are at risk from serious sex offenders,
concluded; “if the Minister is serious about protecting potential victims from harm, then he
must examine giving the Gardaí the power to disclose information they feel is relevant in
preventing those intending to re-offend from accessing more victims.

In the course of drafting of my own bill, the Child Sex Offenders (Information and
Monitoring) Bill 2012, I have studied this area for over year now, and I firmly believe that the
international evidence shows reasonable disclosures and adequate monitoring are crucial post
release precautions. However, without these support measures in place, incorporating violent
criminals into the Sex Offenders Register will only paper over a malignant issue.”