Sex Offenders Register in Victoria
Updated on Dec 13, 2022 • 6 min read • 3784 views • Copy Link
Sex Offenders Register in Victoria
The Sex Offenders Register in Victoria is governed by the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004. The register contains information about people (registrable offenders) who have committed certain sex offences (registrable offences). This article outlines the law surrounding the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria.
What is the purpose of the Sex Offenders Register?
A person who is convicted of a registrable offence may be entered into the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria.
The purpose of the register is to:
- ensure sex offenders keep police informed of their whereabouts and their personal details for a specified period of time
- reduce the chances of them re-offending
- help police investigate any future offences
- ensure registered sex offenders do not volunteer or do paid work in child-related areas.
Who must register?
A person who is found guilty of a registrable offence (either as an adult or as a child) may have a Sex Offender Registration Order made against them. A court may also make a Sex Offender Registration Order against a person who has been found guilty of a registrable offence in another jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court or the County Court must make a Sex Offender Registration Order against a person when imposing or varying a custodial sentence for a serious sex offence. A lot of sexual offences are deemed serious sexual offences in Victoria. These offences are are listed in Schedule one of the Serious Offenders Act 2018 and include rape, sexual assault, indecent assault and producing or distributing child abuse material).
The length of time a person is required to comply with reporting obligations depends on the class of offence and the number of offences they have been found guilty of.
Class 1 sex offences
Class 1 offences include the following:
- sexual penetration of a child
- compelling sexual penetration of a child
- ongoing sexual abuse of a person under 16
- aggravated sexual servitude
- facilitating sexual offences against a child
- certain sexual activities with a child outside of Australia.
Class 2 sex offences
Class 2 offences include the following:
- sexual assault offences against a child
- assault with the intent to commit a sexual offence against a child
- a threat to commit a sexual offence against a child
- performance of an act of indecency with child
- grooming of a child for sexual conduct
- indecent acts with a cognitively impaired person by providers of medical or therapeutic services, or special programs
- abducting or detaining a child
- producing, possessing, or procuring a child for child pornography
- inducing or causing a child to take part in sex work.
Class 3 and 4 sex offences
Class 3 and 4 offences include:
- compelling sexual penetration
- indecent assault
- assault with intent to rape
- providers of medical or therapeutic services or providers of special programs performing an act of indecency with a person with a cognitive impairment
- procure sexual penetration by making threats or acting fraudulently
- sexual servitude.
As well as those sentenced for a registrable offence in Victoria, any person who has reporting obligations in any other state or territory, or any other country, is a registrable offender in Victoria.
A registrable offender who doesn’t comply with their reporting obligations, or who gives false or misleading information when reporting, is guilty of an offence and may be sentenced to pay a fine of $36,400, or serve a maximum of two or five years imprisonment, depending on the breach.
A person on the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria must report their details to the police, generally within seven days of their release from custody, sentencing, or entering Victoria (if they have been in Victoria for 14 consecutive days), and again each year. Any changes to details must be reported within seven days.
The details that must be reported include:
- name (including former names) and date of birth
- address and telephone number
- email address and any internet, instant messaging, and chat room usernames
- personal details of any children with whom the person has contact
- details of distinctive permanent marks or tattoos the person has, even if they have been removed
- full details of any job the person has
- full details of any car the person owns or drives.
If a person who is on the register plans to leave Victoria for at least two days they must give the following details to the police seven days before leaving:
- the state, territory or country to which they are travelling
- their dates of travel
- their intended destinations and where they will stay while they are there
- the date of return to Victoria, or a statement that they are not returning.
The person must report to the police within seven days of returning to Victoria after travelling interstate.
If the person is going overseas, they must produce their passport and travel documents prior to leaving, and they must report again within one day of their return.
Reporting periods and offences – adult offenders
If a person is listed on the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria, the length of the reporting obligation period depends upon the offence:
- for conviction for one class 1 or two class 2 offences – 15 years
- for conviction for one class 2 offence – eight years
- for conviction for two or more class 1 offences, or for one class I and one or more class 2 offences, or three or more Class 2 offences – life.
Reporting periods and offences – child offenders
A child who has been found guilty of and sentenced for a Class 1 or 2 offence won’t automatically be classed as a registrable offender. However, the court has the discretion to make a Sex Offender Registration Order and will make an order if it believes that the child may be a risk to the sexual safety of one or more members of the community. The child will remain on the register for the following periods:
- for conviction for a single class 2 offence – four years
- for convictions for more than one class 2 offence, a class 1 offence, or any combination of class 1 or 2 offences – seven and a half years.
Accessing the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria
The only people who can access the details on the Sex Offenders Register in Victoria are those with police authorisation. However, police can give anyone information from the register if they think it is appropriate. That information can’t include details that identify the registered person.
If an offender discloses that they have had contact with a child, the police can give the offender’s information to the Secretary of the Department of Justice. That information can then be passed on to any person if it is for the safety and wellbeing of the child.
The police may also pass information from the register to a government department, public authority, or court to aid law enforcement or court functions.
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