Cabinet approves plan to introduce electronic tags for sex offenders

The plan would also toughen up regulations around the sex offenders register

Cabinet approves plan to introduce electronic tags for sex offenders

An electronic tag on displayin Germany, 25-01-2018. Image: Boris Roessler/DPA/PA Images

The Cabinet is moving forward with plans to monitor sex offenders with electronic tags after they leave prison.

After a lengthy meeting this afternoon, ministers agreed on the general outline of legislation aimed at managing the risk posed by sex offenders on their release.

Communications Minister Denis Naughten said the legislation will provide a legal basis for the introduction of post-release electronic tagging.

“Providing courts with the option of mandating electronic monitoring in high risk cases is something I have long advocated for, and indeed, ensured was included in the Programme for Government,” he said.

“I am delighted to see the inclusion of this measure in the General Scheme of this important Bill.”

Sex offenders register

The General Scheme also tightens the regulations governing the sex offenders register.

If the legislation is accepted, offenders on the register will have to notify Gardaí of their address upon their release from custody – and will have to inform authorities of any change of address within three days.

Authorities will be allowed to fingerprint and photograph the offender where necessary to confirm their identity.

The bill will also allow for the disclosure of information about sex offenders to a limited number of people “in certain circumstances.”

Relevant information would include the name, address and threat posed by the offender.

The General Scheme of the bill has now been published and will be submitted to the Oireachtas Justice Committee.