Queensland Police say the proposed powers to inspect sex offenders’ devices will help expose pedophiles who are finding increasingly ingenious ways to hide their crimes.
The legislation, which will be tabled in the Queenland Parliament this week, will allow police to enter the home of a reporting offender to inspect digital devices.
“This will go a long way for the evening of the playing field,” Queensland Police Superintendent Denzil Clark said on Sunday.
Pedophiles are using more and more advanced technology to hide their crimes online
‘At the moment, our access authority relates to confirming the personal data of the person responsible for the declaration.
“When it comes to device approval, we don’t have that current capability. We have to do it with the person’s permission, or we have to do it off site.”
Police Secretary Mark Ryan said authorities have continued to identify new technology used by offenders to target children since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a very alarming and disturbing trend,” he said.
“There is sophisticated anonymization software, such as virtual private networks and hidden phone applications, that keep these predators invisible online.”
There are more than 17,000 convicted pedophiles in Australia. Western Australia alone has more than 3,500 on its registry for a population of less than 2.7 million
The proposed laws would require reporting offenders to disclose the use of anonymization software, vault and black hole applications, and unique identifiers assigned to their digital networks.
A new criminal offense will also be introduced, with penalties of up to five years in prison for failing to comply with the requirement to produce a digital device for inspection.
“These offenders are the lowest of the low and I am determined they have nowhere to hide,” said Mr Ryan.
The steady growth of sex crimes has fueled calls for a national public register of sex offenders and more drastic measures such as chemical castration.
Official statistics up to 2020 show that the number of sex offenders charged by police in Australia has increased by 13 percent in a decade.
There are more than 17,000 convicted pedophiles in Australia.
The brutal rape and murder of 12-year-old Sian Kingi (pictured) led to a law that makes it harder for sex offenders to get early release from prison
Western Australia alone has more than 3,500 on its registry for a population of less than 2.7 million.
Well-known crimes such as the multiple rape and stabbing of 12-year-old schoolgirl Sian Kingi in 1987 have led to changes such as Sian’s law, making it more difficult for sex offenders to obtain early release from prison.
However, despite the support of the Morcombe family, regular calls for a national public register of sex offenders have not been heeded.
Daniel Morcombe was just 13 when he was kidnapped and murdered in December 2003 while waiting for a bus to the mall.
Advocacy group the Daniel Morcombe Foundation supported current opposition leader Peter Dutton’s proposal to start a public register of sex offenders in 2019, but it failed to get the support it needed from states, particularly Queensland.
The government of Queensland Prime Minister Annastasia Palasczcuk has rejected a motion supporting such a register.
Pauline Hanson has called for chemical castration of pedophiles along with tougher sentences for sex offenders
Queensland Labor MP Scott Stewart rejected the idea, telling Parliament that the Australian Institute of Criminology had found that ‘public records of sex offenders do not reduce recidivism’.
Currently, sex offenders are required to register with the police in all states and territories, but only WA has a public register and access is restricted.
Bruce Morcombe, Daniel’s father, chided state and territory leaders for being “weak as piss” in their initial response to the suggestion.
Under the Morcombe Foundation’s plan, a registry would publish the names, aliases, geographic area, current photo, a list of identifying violators and local statistics.
Daniel Morcombe was kidnapped at a bus stop at age 13 and murdered
Only repeat offenders or repeat offenders, or those who have committed heinous crimes, are mentioned and shamed.
Great Britain has such a public register.
Victorian State Opposition Jason Wood, a former agent, called on Australia in August to take over the British model.
This would allow parents, carers or guardians to request information about a person who has contact with their child if they are concerned that the person poses a risk.
Research shows that about 7 percent of sex offenders relapse within 10 years.
Incidents involving a family member in a residential setting were the most common.
The director of the Police Federation of Australia, Scott Weber, said he was “100 percent behind him.”
“It’s frightening in this day and age that child sex offenders can jump from border to border and go undetected,” he said. the Herald Sun.
“If we can’t protect our most vulnerable, we’re really letting everyone down.”
A Daily Mail Australia mock-up of what an online national sex offender might look like. Above are some of Australia’s most famous perpetrators – including Daniel Morcombe’s murderer Brett Cowan, infamous sex bully Michael Guider, Hey Dad!’s Robert Hughes, predator Robert Fardon and imprisoned ‘Evil 8’ rapist Ryan Clegg
He said police had privacy and security concerns about the coalition’s proposal, but welcomed Woods’ suggestion of the British model.
Ahead of the latest federal election in May, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for chemical castration of pedophiles, along with tougher sentences for sex offenders.
“I support chemical castration and stricter sentences for pedophiles, and the establishment of a national database of pedophiles,” she told the Daily Mail Australia.
“People are very concerned about the safety of their children and want strict laws and punishments for those convicted of pedophilia.
“For sex crimes that do not involve children, I consider it appropriate that the presiding magistrate or judge determine the appropriate punishment under the relevant law.”
In a reader poll conducted by The Daily Mail, an overwhelming 6,800 out of 7,400 people voted ‘yes’ to the procedure to be passed in an exclusive study by Daily Mail Australia.
DANIEL’S LAW: WHAT THE MORCOMBE FAMILY WANT
Under the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s plan, a registry of child molesters would contain the following information:
- Name, alias and nickname of the perpetrator
- Geographical area of an offender’s primary residence
- Ability to statistically search an area for resident offenders
- Describe the general nature of the crime against children
- A current photo and identifying features, namely tattoos, unique posture, unusual gait or posture, hair color, ethnicity, and gender
The register would NOT contain any information that would help identify young victims of crime or offenders under the age of 18.
The registry would be accompanied by strengthened vigilante laws to protect the physical well-being and safety of those on the registry.