New laws put child sex offenders under the microscope

CHILD sex offenders will be placed under the microscope even further under a suite of tough new reporting and monitoring laws.

The changes, which were passed in State Parliament this week, now require child sex offenders to report four times per year rather than annually.

They will also have to provide police their usernames and passwords for social networking websites.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey told State Parliament offenders will also be subject to a range of other measures aimed at improving child safety.

"The bill also allows police to take DNA from child sex offenders if that DNA has not already been taken in Queensland and removes a requirement for their DNA to be destroyed at the conclusion of their reporting period," he said.

"These provisions not only enhance the ability of police to adequately monitor the details and movements of reportable offenders, they also enhance their investigative capacity when investigating crimes in the future."

However, the LNP dominated Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee recommended child sex offenders be allowed to report less frequently in circumstances where they have reported for a certain period without incident.

Mr Dempsey said he made no apologise for overruling the committee's recommendation surrounding reporting.

He said the Police Commissioner will also have discretionary powers to increase the reporting requirement for offenders, and declare offenders who abscond as a danger to the community.

"The government makes no apologies for the increase in monitoring provisions as the safety of children is of paramount importance and outweighs the inconvenience posed to child sex offenders who will now have to report to police on their whereabouts and their personal particulars more frequently," he said.

Labor's Bill Byrne said the opposition would be investigating ways to ban sex offenders who are reportable offenders from using social media altogether.

"To protect children we must find a way to remove sex offenders from the worst type of behaviour on the internet," he said.

"By removing many of these people from social media, the opposition believes that it will act as a crime prevention strategy and prevent offenders from harming children."

Topics:  legislation

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