Convicted rapist Robert John Fardon filmed travelling on a train. Picture: Channel 9
Convicted rapist Robert John Fardon filmed travelling on a train. Picture: Channel 9

Sex offender GPS tracking law ‘fails’

QUEENSLAND police have not applied to GPS track 202 child offenders, including sex pests who completed reporting requirements since September last year, new figures reveal.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the police figures were evidence laws passed in September to monitor pedophiles who had completed supervision orders were failing.

The laws were passed just before notorious sex offender Robert John Fardon was about to end a supervision order and be released into the community.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk was caught out without a plan B for the impending release of Robert John Fardon and this was the result," Ms Frecklington said.

"Labor's weak laws do not protect the community and have failed to offer any comfort for survivors like (Fardon victim) Sharon Tomlinson.

Ms Frecklington said the LNP would introduce mandatory GPS tracking for life for repeat serious sex offenders.

Police Minister Mark Ryan rejected the claims, saying the Government's laws automatically put serious child sex offenders under strict monitoring requirements for life.

He said there were 3255 reportable offenders on the child offenders register, with 2366 of those subject to monitoring.

If police believe an offender who has completed their parole is a risk to one or more children they can apply to the courts to place restrictions such as GPS tracking on them.

Responding to an LNP Question on Notice, Mr Ryan revealed police had not made any applications for GPS tracking since the laws were introduced last year.

Queensland Police said 202 reportable offenders had completed their reporting requirements since the laws were introduced.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan. Picture: AAP/Glenn Hunt
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan. Picture: AAP/Glenn Hunt

Mr Ryan said the laws, backed with $25 million for police surveillance and monitoring, were the toughest in the country and the lack of applications to the court for GPS tracking was a good sign.

"I think it actually shows they are working, there's a deterrence effect with the laws and there's also a strength with the laws … as soon as (an offender) steps out of line police have got the opportunity to apply for those orders," he said.

"I think it shows they're the strongest in the nation and they continue to be."

A Queensland Corrective Service spokeswoman said GPS trackers allowed officers to monitor every movement of an offender and were a "tool to support a robust case management and surveillance model for parolees".

She said 151 sex offenders including those deemed "dangerous" were currently subjected to GPS monitoring.



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