MEMBER for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley is calling for the Victorian sex offender register to be made public.
The Derryn Hinch Justice Party member's calls come after he successfully submitted a motion to the Victorian Legislative Council on August 28, calling for an investigation into making the register public. The motion passed 35 votes to four.
Mr Grimley is a former police officer who has worked with the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams, and his calls join those of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who in January called for the states and territories to sign up to a publicly available register.
"What we were seeking to do in the motion was have a matter referred to the Legal and Social Issues Committee, to investigate and report back to Parliament the best means to store data on convicted sex offenders and the circumstances in which those details can be made public," Mr Grimley said.
"It's up to the committee now to seek submissions from organisations for and against."
He called the motion "a small step towards what we hope will fill in the gaps and deficiencies that already exist within the sex offender register".
On the same day the motion passed, the Victorian Auditor-General released a report into the management of registered sex offenders.
The report concluded that Victoria Police did not have a "consistent level of sex offender management".
The report identified gaps in data retention and analysis, lack of resources, and overburdened police.
It made nine recommendations, all of which Victoria Police accepted. Victoria Police also outlined the steps already taken towards meeting those recommendations.
"We believe that everybody has a right to feel safe in their community," he said.
However, a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, released in May 2018, found "little evidence that the US (register) policies have reduced reoffending among registered sex offenders".
With regards to vigilantism against sex offenders, the report found: "In the United States ... on average, 44 per cent of registered sexual offenders reported experiencing threats or harassment by neighbour."
- For sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732; in an emergency phone 000.
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