Electronic tagging of sex offenders should be introduced as soon as possible through the establishment of a pilot scheme, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minister Josepha Madigan was speaking as the Sex Offenders (Amendment) Bill was introduced at Second Stage in the Dáil this week.
The Bill is part of ongoing Government efforts to ensure convicted sex offenders are effectively managed and monitored. It fulfils a commitment in Justice Plan 2021 and the Programme for Government to update the Sex Offenders Act 2001.
Minister Madigan said, “The Bill being introduced at Second Stage in the Dáil this week by my colleague the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, will strengthen our approach to dealing with sex offenders. Among other measures, the Bill provides for the introduction of electronic tagging which is a significant move to help prevent those convicted of sexual crimes from reoffending.
“We need to see the introduction of electronic tagging as soon as possible, but of course we must get it right. I would like to see the speedy introduction of a pilot scheme so that we keep up the momentum on this issue and see it introduced without delay, but also so we see what works and what doesn’t in practical terms.
“Another important element of the Bill is to amend the notification requirements for sex offenders, including that offenders will have to inform the Gardaí of a change of address within three days instead of the current seven days. This brings us in line with other jurisdictions, including the UK, and is an extremely important protection for communities.
“The new legislation also introduces a prohibition on convicted sex offenders engaging in certain forms of employment that would involve working with children or vulnerable adults.
“Fine Gael in Government is determined to combat sexual violence. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities and we must do more to prevent these appalling crimes from occurring. Electronic tagging will be a big step forward in our efforts to put a stop to these criminals from reoffending and I would like to see a pilot scheme commence as soon as possible,” Minister Madigan concluded.