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Bravehearts calls for restricted notification of paedophiles

Bravehearts advocates that the first response should be the continued detention of dangerous sex offenders. It is our position that dangerous sex offenders should not be released back in to the community, until such time as they are assessed as low risk and that that risk can be managed in the community. We have Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual offenders) legislation across the nation in place now that can achieve this.

However, Bravehearts Founder and CEO Hetty Johnston says the lack of will by the courts to continually detain offenders has meant that a limited register will at least give the community a ‘fighting chance’.

Bravehearts has  absolutely no issue with the names and details of adult, repeat, dangerous sex offenders being made public. These offenders should not have the right to hide behind suppression orders.

Given the failure of the courts to keep these dangerous offenders in jail, we do support restricted community notification – just not for residential addresses to be made public as these laws in the US have consequences that do not help community/child protection.

A Bravehearts preferred scheme would provide:
  1. Information on missing sex offenders.
  2. Parents or guardians with the option to enquire whether or not a person of interest, who has regular unsupervised contact with their child, is a reportable offender. This is in addition to police having the power to notify residents that an offender is being housed in their neighbourhood.
Conversely some are campaigning for a model based on the problematic experience of ‘Megan’s Law’ in the US.
 Bravehearts research clearly outlines why this kind of register does not work:
  • The register may inadvertently reveal the name of the victim.
  • The register may brand innocent members of the child sex offender’s family.
  • There may be victimisation of innocent individuals whose name or physical appearance are confused with those of offenders.
  • There may be encouragement of community anger or lawlessness.
  • Registered paedophiles are more likely to ‘disappear’.
  • Released paedophiles are less likely to register. A much higher percentage of paedophiles register in the UK where the registers are not made public compared to the US.