Call for Vic sex offender registry trial

By Benita Kolovos
Fiona Patten says Victoria should trial the limited disclosure of sex offender information. (AAP)

A public sex offender registry should be trialled in Victoria, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Legislative Council's legal and social issues committee on Tuesday tabled its inquiry into the management of child sex offenders.

Among the inquiry's five recommendations is a trial of a "limited public disclosure scheme for registered sex offender information" by an appropriate body, such as the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

"The committee believes that a trial for disclosure of sex offender information in certain limited circumstances is worth investigating," the inquiry's chair Fiona Patten said.

"However, any public disclosure system for child sex offender information must carefully balance the need to protect the community against the potential impact on offender compliance and recidivism rates."

Offenders convicted of certain sexual crimes, predominantly against children, are listed on the Victorian Sex Offenders Register.

As of April 2021, there are 9110 registered sex offenders statewide, with 4467 subject to active reporting requirements.

Under the current system, only people with police authorisation can access the register.

The inquiry recommends the state look at limited disclosure schemes currently operating in the United Kingdom and WA.

The committee has also urged Victoria Police to examine whether it needs to keep people who are dead or deregistered on the registry.

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