‘We can’t find 200 child sex offenders’
PAEDOPHILES and child abusers are going unmonitored in the Tweed and some are being lost in the system entirely due to a lack of resources.
Tweed Byron District Police Association NSW chairman Darren McCaughey said only a fraction of more than 1000 child offenders in the northern region were being monitored by police.
Mr McCaughey said the monitoring process was currently done on a "part-time, ad hoc basis" and forced specialised police to step away from their normal duties to take on the role.
He said of the 1060 offenders on the Child Protection Register in Northern NSW, the whereabouts of 201 was unknown.
"We know we need a ratio of one dedicated full-time officer to every 30 offenders to be able to proactively manage paedophiles on the list," Mr McCaughey said.
"The child protection register is our way of keeping an eye on these grubs, to prevent reoffending, and to protect kids.
"The officers who do this work day in and day out are stretched to capacity, often with one or two officers managing in excess of 100 convicted offenders.
"Police have the powers to actively monitor and stop these offenders targeting our children, but we just don't have the resources to do it properly."
Mr McCaughey said an extra 40 dedicated officers were needed.
"We know there are over 4000 offenders on the Child Protection Register statewide, and around 1060 in our region, but only a fraction of those are monitored regularly due to the fact that we simply don't have enough police to do the job," he said.
The Police Association of NSW has launched its Back the Blue campaign ahead of next year's state election, calling on the NSW Government to appoint 2500 more police across the regions.
This comes on top of the ongoing Cops in Crisis campaign started by members of the Tweed Byron Police District, who have been calling for a minimum of at least 30 additional officers in the command.