Chilling safety flaws with GPS tracking devices
THE failure to fix the GPS tracking system on Gold Coast DV thugs is placing the lives of their partners at risk, State Parliament has been told.
LNP spokesman for women and Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates in a speech to Parliament today applauded the Gold Coast Bulletin for its investigation which has exposed faults in the tracking system.
"The Gold Coast Bulletin has been running a chilling investigation into the GPS tracking system in Queensland. As this investigation progressed, everyday a new flaw and a
new failing in this system coming to light," Ms Bates said.
The Parliament was told the investigation had revealed:
- Only two Gold Coast perpetrators have been fitted with a GPS device and across the state only 10 tracking devices have been placed on DV offenders despite the police compiling a "long list" of thugs capable of killing their ex-partners."
- Coast police had been monitoring at least a dozen women living in fear because predators had not been tracked.
- But accused criminals ordered to wear GPS ankle trackers while on bail have been walking free for seven days because police cannot get the device on the Coast in time.
- Embattled Police Minister Mark Ryan had maintained the trackers were "available whenever and wherever the courts order" yet two magistrates at Gold Coast DV Court were told it would take seven days for police to get a tracker from Brisbane.
Ms Bates during her speech told the Parliament: "We all know the M1 is in traffic gridlock due to Labor's failure to lay even a metre of tar over the past three and a half years in
Government, but it doesn't take seven days to drive the M1."
The Mudgeeraba MP said she had been contacted by Coast women who were in fear of
their lives due to violent ex-partners not being monitored.
"Even after the LNP brought in stricter bail laws following the death of Teresa Bradford we are still seeing dangerous offenders released on bail and without GPS trackers to protect
victims," she said.
"Labor couldn't even get the roll out of our tough DV laws right and instead are concentrating on giving additional leave to wife bashers instead."
Ms Scanlon has maintained the leave would ensure financial security for families and enable alleged offenders to seek counselling.
"Maybe the Member for Gaven should meet the families of murdered Gold Coast women as I have," Mr Bates told Parliament.
"Women whose names should never be forgotten such as Kim Cobby, Teresa Bradford, Shelsea Schilling, Melinda Horner, Karina Lock, Tara Brown, Fabiana Palhares, Renae Carter,
Anthea Mari and Sherelle Locke.
"GPS tracking systems is a lifeline for scared victims and their families. It is too important for Labor to bungle as they do most other things. I refuse to sit back and watch this Government mismanage this scheme. There are lives on the line."
Mr Ryan during the last session of Parliament earlier this month strongly defended the GPS tracking system, saying a "very angry Police Commissioner" viewed the claims as "wrong, ridiculous and reckless".
Commissioner Ian Stewart had described the GPS tracking system on the Coast as world class and represented best practice, which was why it was used by many public safety agencies internationally.
"The commissioner has also confirmed yet again that the trackers are monitored in real time every second of every day," Mr Ryan told the Parliament.
"That is not an opinion. It is not a claim. It is a fact. If someone with a tracker attached to them ventures into a no-go zone or breaches a curfew or tampers with their tracker, an alert is immediately sent to police. The commissioner says if an alert of this type is raised police act swiftly, within minutes."
Mr Ryan said the Commissioner had also confirmed that if a Coast-based magistrate orders a tracker for a person then that tracker could be delivered within hours.