herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Majority of 120 monitored sex offenders living in Dublin area

Minister Charlie Flanagan
Minister Charlie Flanagan

There are 120 sex offenders living in communities across the country who are monitored as part of post-release supervision orders, with the highest percentage of them living in Dublin.

According to figures released by the Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, the largest concentration of released sex offenders supervised under Part 5 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 is in the Dublin North and North East areas, where 32 are living.

In a written Dail reply to Fianna Fail's justice spokesman, Jim O'Callaghan TD, Mr Flanagan confirmed that a further 24 were living in the Dublin South and Wicklow area, while 23 have addresses in the West and North West - excluding Westmeath.

Mr Flanagan said that a further 22 were living in the Midlands and the South East with 19 living in the South West.

The 120 under supervision orders represent an increase of six on the total for this time last year.

In the US, under the so-called Megan's Law, State authorities disclose to the public the addresses of freed sex offenders and the crimes they have been convicted of.

Applications

In the UK, under Sarah's Law, parents are allowed to ask police whether someone who might have contact with their children has a record for child sex offences.

However, a 2015 study showed that just one in six applications was successful, with police citing fears of vigilantism as one of the reasons for withholding details.

No such provision exists in Irish law relating to gardai having to disclose the addresses of freed convicted sex offenders.

Around 1,000 sex offenders are obliged to provide gardai with their addresses and notify them of any change.

However, supervision orders go a step further and require offenders to undergo psychological counselling or other treatment.

Those sex offenders who breach post-release supervision conditions are liable to prison terms not exceeding 12 months.

Mr Flanagan said that figures relating to non-compliance of supervision orders were not available.

In a separate Dail reply to Mr O'Callaghan, Mr Flanagan confirmed that there were three sex offenders and one killer currently on temporary release.

The latest figures from the Irish Prison Service (IPS) showed that there has been a steady increase in those jailed for sexual offences this year.

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