​Community safeguards with tougher law

Issued: Thursday, 16 October 2014

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High risk offenders who are subject to Extended Supervision Orders (ESO) now face up to five years jail if they breach those orders, under legislation passed by the NSW Parliament.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said the new law will affect a small group of sex offenders and violent criminals who the Supreme Court has determined require ongoing supervision after their release.

"It's regrettable that the state must continue to deal with people who at the expiration of their jail sentence remain a threat to the community of further re-offending," Mr Hazzard said.

"The threat cannot be ignored and this legislation reflects the Government's ongoing scrutiny of these issues and our commitment to safeguarding the community."

Previously breaches of ESOs attracted a maximum two years jail. Raising the term to five years brings it into line with breaches under child protection legislation.

Mr Hazzard said the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Amendment Bill significantly strengthened procedures and options to deal with high risk offenders by:

  • Doubling jail sentences for breaches of ESOs from two to five years.
  • Supplementing court-ordered conditions relating to reporting to police, computer and internet use and employment and finances.
  • Introducing Emergency Detention Orders so that offenders on ESOs can be temporarily detained if a change in their circumstances creates an imminent risk to the community.
  • Establishing a High Risk Offenders Assessment Committee for greater information sharing and co-operation.

"The NSW Government has also committed $3.6 million in the current Budget to enhance community safety through the monitoring and supervision of high risk offenders," Mr Hazzard said.

"We are also seconding police officers to the Corrective Services Investigations Unit to ensure that offenders who breach their conditions are swiftly investigated, apprehended and charged."