Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Hon Murray Cowper MLA

Former Minister for Training and Workforce Development; Corrective Services

    Legislation finalised to track offenders

    17/10/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • State Govt to introduce legislation to track dangerous sex offenders
    The State Government will today introduce into State Parliament the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Amendment Bill 2012 to allow Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of dangerous sexual offenders.

    Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper said the Bill would provide an additional tool in the protection of the community from serious and repeat sexual offenders.

    “Under this legislation, electronic monitoring will be a standard condition of supervision orders for dangerous sexual offenders released from custody,” Mr Cowper said.

    “The Bill ensures those offenders can be monitored, in real-time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  While that does not mean they are under constant visual surveillance, it does mean there is the capacity to know where they are at any given point in time.”

    The Minister said electronic monitoring would also apply to dangerous sexual offenders who had already been released and were currently on supervision orders.

    “Essentially at the discretion of the court, a curfew will be imposed on dangerous sexual offenders as a condition on supervision orders,” he said.

    “Community corrections officers will then have the power to install or remove electronic equipment and set the hours or place of curfew.

    “If an offender is not complying with the location conditions of their order, relevant staff will be alerted by the system and can respond immediately. Importantly, mandatory jail will be imposed for tampering with the devices.”

    In addition to the GPS equipment, a Public Protection Unit comprising Department of Corrective Services staff will be formed to manage the operation of GPS tracking.

    An electronic monitoring officer will be available to immediately action alerts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The officer will be co-located with WA Police (WAPOL) at the Midland Police Operations Centre.

    This will ensure timely communication with WAPOL with regard to prioritising a response should a GPS offender breach an exclusion zone.
     
    “Coupled with the sex offender register launched this month, the State Government is working hard to improve community protection against serious and repeat sex offenders,” Mr Cowper said.

         Fact File
    • There are 18 dangerous sexual offenders currently residing in WA
    • With funding of $6m allocated in the 2012-13 State Budget, the GPS tracking will initially be introduced in the Perth metro area; Regional and remote areas would be phased in following successful trial in these areas
    Minister's office - 6552 5700