Sex offenders to be monitored with electronic tagging under new Bill

The Minister for Justice said she understands the concerns communities have about sex offenders, adding that the new laws will help to alleviate those concerns.
Sex offenders to be monitored with electronic tagging under new Bill

Registered sex offenders could be subject to electronic tagging under new legislation announced by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD.

The Sex Offenders (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was approved by Government on Tuesday, will allow An Garda Síochána to release information on sex offenders under certain circumstances.

Speaking about the new legislation, the Minister for Justice said she understands the concerns communities have about sex offenders, adding that the new laws will help to alleviate those concerns.

“For example, it introduces stricter notification requirements - meaning offenders will have to inform the Gardaí of a change of address within three days instead of the current seven days, Ms McEntee said.

Protecting people

The new Bill also provides more powers for Gardaí to take fingerprints, palm-prints and photographs to confirm the identity of the person.

“Explicitly prohibiting convicted sex offenders from working with children or vulnerable people is also hugely important in protecting people and strengthening how we manage sex offenders,” the Minister for Justice added.

“There is a robust system for monitoring sex offenders in place, but this legislation will significantly strengthen that system.

“It has been developed in close consultation with the Probation Service and An Garda Síochána to ensure that all of the provisions are well-thought-out and workable in practice.”

The latest figures show there are 1,708 people who are currently subject to the reporting requirements of Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

Of the 1,708, 319 sex offenders being supervised by the Probation Service in the community and 192 are on post release supervision. The remainder are notifying at Garda stations.

The new Bill is expected to be enacted in the coming months.

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