Australia: 16 Sex Offenders Tracked With GPS Devices

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Australia’s state government is approaching the monitoring of sexual offenders in a different way: by introducing GPS tracking devices worn around the ankle. The goal is to keep a closer eye on these criminals when they are released back into the community, and is made possible by new laws put into place which allow the use of GPS devices to track those people classified under the Dangerous Sex Offender Act.

Australia GPSThe system will track these offenders 24 hours each day. They began using the system in May, and they’re hoping it is successful. Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said that they hope to implement the system on a broader basis in the future if it is indeed effective.

“You might look at arsonists for example, and you know, if someone’s charged with a serious arson offense, you might say, maybe you are not allowed to go anywhere near bushland, and, if you do, you will be in breach of an order,” said Francis, “Or domestic violence or people not being allowed into licensed premises.”

Francis himself has put the GPS devices to the test, wearing it around his ankle and going about his daily business. He wanted to see exactly how well the system worked, and what it is truly capable of. “I’ve been wearing one for three days and I’ve just gone out to the monitoring center in Midland and they have been very accurate in tracking my movements since Monday,” Francis said. “I’ve had it strapped to my ankle, I’ve slept with it, I’ve showered with it, I’ve worn it to Parliament. If I cut the device off my ankle,” he joked, “I would also be subject to a mandatory 12 month prison sentence.”

More and more communities in all sorts of countries are realizing the potential of GPS monitoring devices used to track dangerous and violent offenders. It is a surefire way to keep the community at ease, as well as safe.

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Khristen Foss

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