The legislation that governs the Child Protection Register in NSW (New South Wales) is the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18. The aim of the Register is to:
- increase and improve the accuracy of police intelligence
- assist to investigate and prosecute child sex offences committed by repeat offenders
- deter people from re-offending
- help to monitor and manage child sex offenders in the community
- help to create a sense of security for child abuse victims and their families.
The register is a list of people who have been sentenced for a registrable offence. There are two types of registrable offences: class 1 and class 2. Both categories include attempts, conspiracies, and incitement to commit particular offences. It also includes offences committed before the legislation started and offences committed outside of NSW.
Class 1 offences include:
- murder of a child
- any offence that involves sexual intercourse with a child, including outside of Australia
- some offences of sexual abuse of a child, such as persistent sexual abuse.
Class 2 offences include:
- manslaughter of, or causing serious harm to, a child
- acts of indecency
- procuring or grooming a person under 16 for unlawful sexual activity
- kidnapping or abduction
- promoting child prostitution or benefiting from it in any way, including taking part
- sexual offences against children that happened overseas.
Depending on the category of the offence, a person on the Child Protection Register in NSW will have to report to the police for a period of time:
- Class 1 offence – 15 years
- Class 2 offence – 8 years
- multiple offences – 15 years
- sexual re-offending – life.
A person who is listed on the Child Protection Register in NSW must report the following:
- the person’s name, including aliases or previous names and when they were known by those names
- birth date
- the address/es where they live or may be found
- the names and birth dates of children who usually live in the same household
- their job, their employer and the address of each place of employment or where they are generally employed
- any club or organisation with which they are involved if it allows membership or participation of children
- any motor vehicle they own or drive
- tattoos or distinguishing marks including any that have been removed
- if they were ever found guilty outside of NSW of a registrable offence, or of an offence that required them to report to a similar reporting body, or have been under a similar child protection registration order and, if so, where that order was made
- whether they have been in custody since they were sentenced or released for the registrable offence, and when or where they were held
- whether they are leaving or intending to leave the state an average of at least once a month, the reason why, the frequency of travel, and the destination
- any telecommunications service they use or intend to use
- their internet service provider, or intended provider
- any email addresses, internet user names, instant messaging user names, chat room user names or similar
- any other information required.
If the person is not in custody when they are sentenced for the offence they must report within 7 days. If they are in custody, they must report within 7 days of their release.
If the conviction happened outside of NSW, they must report within 7 days of arriving in NSW. After that, they must report each year.
If the person has been in custody since they last reported, they must provide details of when and where they were in custody. The maximum penalties for not reporting is a fine of $55,000.00 or imprisonment for 5 years, or both.
The Commissioner of Police must make sure that the information in the register can’t be accessed by anyone who isn’t authorised to do so. No one can disclose any information about a registrable person that is gained by them in the administration or execution of the law, unless that disclosure:
- is made in connection with the administration or execution of the Act or is for law enforcement purposes
- is made with the person’s consent
- is ordered by a court for the purposes of court proceedings
- is consented to by the Commissioner of Police to ensure the safety or protection of a child or of children generally
- is made to the Minister or with the consent of the Minister
- is allowed under any law.
This article reflects the state of the law as at 21 December 2015. It is intended to be of a general nature only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal assistance, please telephone 1300 636 846 or request a consultation at gotocourt.com.au.