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Written Answers - Sexual Offences

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 369.  Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he is satisfied with the level of compliance by persons who are subject to the requirements of Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001; the number of notifications received from other jurisdictions or from Interpol regarding the travel of convicted sex offenders to Ireland during the period 2009 to 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6199/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The Sex Offenders Act 2001 contains a comprehensive series of provisions aimed at protecting children and other persons. Part 2 of the Act makes persons convicted of a range of sexual offences subject to notification requirements. The provisions of the Act also extend to any offenders convicted abroad of the same range of sexual offences who enter the State. I am informed by the Garda authorities that there were 1,194 persons subject to the requirements of Part 2 of the Act on 1 February 2012.

All offenders subject to the notification requirements are monitored by the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit (SOMIU) at the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Unit is supported by Garda Inspectors nominated in each Garda Division throughout the State. I am informed that the nominated Inspector in each Division has access to all necessary resources within his/her Division to assist him/her in carrying out his/her duties. Where An Garda Síochána becomes aware that an offender subject to the notification requirements has breached those requirements, appropriate action is taken. I am confident that the appropriate level of monitoring is carried out by An Garda Síochána and all breaches of the requirements which come to notice are pursued.

I am also informed that when the Garda authorities become aware that a convicted sex offender has left or is intending to leave the State, the Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit ensures that the relevant law enforcement agency in the country of destination is advised via Interpol.

An Garda Síochána receive, on a regular basis, notifications regarding convicted sex offenders who travel to this country. When SOMIU receives such a notification, it is recorded on the Garda PULSE system and the relevant nominated Divisional Inspector is notified as a priority. I am advised that the information requested regarding the number of such notifications received is not readily available and would require a disproportionate amount of time and resources to collate.

I can also inform the Deputy that my Department has been conducting a wide-ranging examination of the law on sexual offences and a review of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 formed an integral part of that examination. Arising from the review, I expect to bring forward legislative proposals, including a number of amendments to the 2001 Act, in the coming months.


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