New Reforms Tighten Net On Serious Sex Offenders
The right to bail will be revoked, police will get tough new search powers and a joint specialist response unit will be established under the first of major reforms aimed at keeping Victorians safe from our worst sex offenders.
The Andrews Labor Government is establishing a Specialist Response Unit made up of Victoria Police detectives, Intelligence analysts and corrections staff.
They will work in the Sex Offenders Management Branch of Corrections Victoria to strengthen oversight and response to the risk of offenders on an order under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act. The Specialist Response Unit is set to be fully operational by the end of the year.
In addition, the Government will today introduce new laws that:
- Create a presumption against bail under the Bail Act 1977 for any serious sex offender on a supervision order who is charged with any indictable offence, including a non-sexual one.
- Give Victoria Police significantly greater powers to enter the home of a serious sex offender to check if they are complying with their order and to arrest them if they are in breach. They can also direct them to take a drug and alcohol test.
- Give Corrections Victoria staff more power to direct serious sex offenders in the community to obey instructions.
- Give the Security and Emergency Services Group, which usually operates inside prisons, the power to respond to safety concerns until police are required.
- Make overseas child sex offences and the distribution of intimate body images a breach of an order.
These changes under Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015 will close immediate gaps in the system and give police and Corrections the extra powers they need to manage serious sex offenders on supervision orders.
They come as a comprehensive review headed by former Supreme Court judge David Harper into the management of Sean Price, and the operation of the Serious Sex Offender (Supervision and Detention) Act.
When the review reports on October 30 the Government will not hesitate to act to protect the community.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This system is broken and needs to be fixed. These reforms can not wait.”
“These reforms will close immediate gaps in our system and give Victoria Police and Corrections extra powers and resources to keep our community safe.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Wade Noonan
“The presumption of bail for serious sex offenders on supervision orders will be revoked.’’
“These reforms are the first steps but they are not the last.’’