Australia’s first publicly accessible register of child sex offenders has been published online in the state of Western Australia.
Parents will be also able to enter their addresses to see if there are any convicted paedophiles living nearby.
But there are concerns about possible vigilantism and mistaken identity.
The Western Australia government describes the register as a balancing act between community safety and the ability of the police to manage convicted paedophiles.
But legal groups have questioned how useful it will be and raised concerns about the potential for vigilante attacks.
The Criminal Lawyers’ Association said that authorities would find it hard to stop the pictures being illegally posted elsewhere on the internet.
But the government says it is an offence to republish any information from the site and said any reprisal attacks would not be accepted.
Share your opinion – are these measures effective? What are the drawbacks? Should this system be introduced in Nigeria, or Africa in general?
- Sex offender registration is a system in various states designed to allow an government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences.
- This is where information in the registry is made available to the general public via a website or other means.
- In many jurisdictions registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including housing.
- Those on parole or probation may be subject to restrictions that don’t apply to other parolees or probationers. Sometimes these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of minors, living in proximity to a school or day care center, owning toys or other items of interest to minors, or using the Internet.
- This is a common practice in such countries as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Norway, UK and US.