Minister Denis Naughten has confirmed that a law to reform the monitoring of high risk sex offenders post release from prison, including the possibility of tagging offenders, has made a further step forward with Government approval to prioritise this legislation for 2018.
Denis Naughten had received guarantees from the previous Minister for Justice that issues he had raised regarding electronic monitoring as well as changes to the notification requirements for sex offenders would be addressed in this legislation, which will also allow Gardaí to disclose information about people on the sex offenders register in certain circumstances.
In 2012 Denis Naughten had initiated the Child Sex Offenders (Information and Monitoring) Bill aimed at closing a number of loopholes being exploited by convicted sex offenders, which had been accepted by the Government.
“The current law governing the conditions for registration, the Sex Offenders Act 2001, needs to be urgently reformed to ensure more effective management of high risk sex offenders,” stated Minister Naughten.
“While we have made progress in 2017 in improving the registration of sex offenders post release from prison we all accept that more needs to be done to address anomalies in the monitoring of sex offenders.
“The failure to close off dangerous loopholes in the monitoring of high risk sex offenders leaves our system open for abuse and means that anyone who wants to avoid Garda attention can do so and this is not in the interests of children and women.
“The new law will close off a number of gaping loopholes within our so-called sex offenders register and Gardaí will be given the legal tools to effectively monitor those who pose a risk to children and vulnerable adults.
“The monitoring of sex offenders will be dramatically improved and I believe that parents should have a right to access information regarding high risk offenders who may have direct access to their son or daughter,” added Denis Naughten.