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New figures reveal 1,756 convicted sex offenders currently living in Ireland

The Government plan to introduce a host of new measures to track and trace these individuals by the end of the year.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee

John Kierans and Neasa CumiskeySunday World

More than 1,700 convicted sex offenders are living in Ireland at present, new garda figures have revealed.

A whopping 1,756 people are currently on the Irish Sex Offenders Register, but the list is not accessible to the public.

However, the Government plan to introduce a host of new measures to track and trace these individuals by the end of the year.

The Department of Justice said that, for the first time ever, An Garda Síochána will have the power to inform families that a sex offender is living beside them if they fear they are a “serious danger to the public”, The Irish Mirror reports.

And while most people will not have access to this list, convicted offenders will be monitored to manage their risk of reoffending as part of a new process of notification and management.

Gardai, Tusla, and probation officers will be required by law to access and manage the risk posed by these individuals.

The Department of Justice’s new Sex Offenders Amendment Bill 2021 will give gardai the power to electronically tag sex offenders, which will be used to help prevent those convicted of sexual crimes from reoffending.

Gardai will be permitted to take fingerprints, palm prints, and photographs to confirm the identity of high-risk individuals under the new laws, and also may apply to the courts for the discharge and variation of a sex offenders order.

Additionally, courts will have the power to ban a sex offender from working with children or vulnerable adults.

The new legislation will also change the notice period required to be given by a person on the Sex Offenders Register if they were moving to a new address in Ireland or abroad to 3 days.

Until now, an individual was only required to notify gardai within 7 days.

The Department of Justice said the Government aims to enact the new Bill by the end of 2022, hoping that it “will strengthen the management and monitoring of sex offenders in the community."

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