Sex offenders in Ireland could be electronically tagged under new proposals

Sex offenders in Ireland could be electronically tagged under new proposals

SERIOUS sex offenders in Ireland could be electronically tagged under proposed new laws.

The plans could also see the names and addresses of offenders released to people in situations where there is a risk of reoffending.

The draft amendments to the Sex Offenders Act 2001 were proposed by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Communication Minister Denis Naughten on Wednesday.

Minster Flanagan said: “The main intention of these proposals is to manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders and to prevent further harm.

“Providing courts with the option of mandating electronic monitoring in high-risk cases is something I have long advocated for, and indeed, ensured was included in the Programme for Government.”

If successful, the change would allow courts to order the electronic tagging of high-risk offenders upon their release from prison.

Gardaí powers

Gardaí would also be able to inform the ‘minimum number of people’ about a sex offenders’ identity and location if they feel there is a risk to the public.

This may include schools and neighbours but the specifics would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Currently, gardaí can only release details of registered sex offenders in a particular area if the information is requested by individuals.

Other details of the amendment include making sex offenders sign in with gardaí every three days instead of every seven after leaving jail and providing fingerprints and photographs to confirm identity.

The draft legislation will now be passed to the Oireachtas Justice Committee for examination.

Previous attempts to legislate for tagging have failed, however should this latest attempt pass, it will provide legal basis for the tagging of offenders after they leave prison.