The 4 main changes to the sex offenders registration act

Proposed changes to the Sex Offender’s Registration Act will introduce a new ‘Registration Exemption Order’. These orders can be made by a court when someone is found guilty of certain Sexual Offences, if certain conditions are met. The amendments will address the problem of young people being placed on the Sex Offenders Register in circumstances where they pose little or no risk to the community, and is a change which has come all too slowly.

1) The Introduction of a Registration Exemption Order, for people found guilty or convicted of certain sexual offences committed while they were 18 or 19 years old. The changes will allow an Application to be made for an Order that they are exempt from the requirement to have their names and details on the Sex Offenders Register if certain conditions are met. 

2) An Application for a Registration Exemption Order will need to be made within 6 months of receiving a Notice of Reporting Conditions under section 50 or 54 of the Sex Offender’s Registration Act (or, if the notice was received immediately before the new sections come into effect, within 2 years of the commencement of the new sections or of receiving such notice- whichever is latest).

3) An Amendment to section 27 of The Act gives certain members of the Victoria Police powers to take fingerprints, (or fingerscans), from any Registrable Offender who has not previously had their fingerprints taken. Previously this power was only available when an officer believed it was necessary to confirm the person’s identity. Under the new laws, an officer may require a Registrable Offender to have their fingerprints (or fingerscan) taken when they are reporting to the station as per their reporting obligations, or may serve them with a Notice advising them that they must attend at the Police Station for that purpose. Even if a Registrable Offender is no longer subject to reporting conditions, Police will be able to request that they attend the station to have their fingerprints/fingerscan taken if they have not previously been provided. If a Notice is not complied with an officer can apply for a warrant to break, enter and search for the person, arrest them and detain them for as long as it takes to take such fingerprints. 

4) New sections 47A- 47C will give Police the power to apply for a Search Warrant where they believe that an Offence against the Sex Offenders Registration Act has been, is being, or is likely to be committed. A warrant under this new section will give the Police the power to search the premises or place listed in the warrant, and to seize any evidence named in the warrant or arrest the person named in the warrant.

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