Dirty dozen predators monitored

NO ESCAPE:A GPS tracking bracelet similar to those that will be fitted to Queensland sex offenders.
Source: Herald Sun



TWELVE of the state’s most dangerous sex offenders will soon be fitted with GPS trackers after a successful test run.


The Courier-Mail can reveal a statewide trial of four of the GPS devices proved the technology could adequately monitor sex predators around the clock.

The introduction follows a community campaign in which more than 10,000 Queenslanders signed a Courier-Mail petition calling for the State Government to roll out the technology as soon as possible.

Police and Corrective Services Minister Neil Roberts said last week’s successful trial involved 30 staff,20 of whom were fitted with the bracelets.

“They got them to go to a whole range of actual areas –no-go areas,tunnels,walk through the city (and) meet with people –to see if two people who weren’t supposed to meet actually did,”he said. “So they created a whole range of scenarios that (Corrective Services officers) would be expected to monitor as to whether a person was complying with their order.”

Mr Roberts would not reveal specific details about the devices on the grounds it would compromise the procurement process but he said the worst-of-the-worst offenders would be subjected to GPS tracking by the end of the year.

One will be serial pedophile Raymond Yeo,66,who was released last month and has a criminal history dating to when he was 13.

Douglas Brian Jackway,32,who was jailed for raping a nine-year-old girl in 1995 and is due to be released from the Brisbane Correctional Centre in Wacol in February,also is expected to be fitted with a GPS tracker on his release.

Mr Roberts said 69 “high risk”sex offenders convicted under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act were currently living in the community,but it would take a while for the new devices to be rolled out.

“Obviously our intention is that everyone who’s got an order will wear the GPS device and obviously we want to roll it out as quickly as possible,”he said. “It’s not a costing issue,we’ve got the money –it’s simply we’ll fit the first 10 or 12 and (then) the rest down. I don’t want to put a time on it,but it’s not going to take a year and I would expect it’s well within six months.”

The State Government has earmarked $13.7 million over four years to replace the cheaper electronic tags currently used which only ensured offenders met curfew conditions. These were triggered only when a pedophile was not at home or work at specified times.

The Courier-Mail revealed in May that there were 152 breaches of monitoring conditions by 53 pedophiles released into the community,including one who tried to abduct a boy from a skate park.

The State Government is also liaising with the NSW Government,which already monitors dangerous pedophiles via GPS.

“The major cost is actually the staffing to monitor it. It’s not the hardware,”Mr Roberts said.

“You’ve got to have people actually monitoring the systems,all the reports the offenders need to fill out with their case manager –it’s all of that human resource that makes up the bulk of the cost.”

 

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