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Community safety with tougher offender laws

Issued: Wednesday, 10 September 2014


New laws have been introduced into the NSW State Parliament to strengthen the supervision of high risk offenders on Extended Supervision Orders (ESOs), Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said today.

While the court can attach any condition to an ESO, the proposed changes give greater guidance on conditions. One new condition could see police informed of high risk offenders in their area.

“There is a very small number of violent criminals and high risk sex offenders who the Supreme Court has determined present a risk of further serious offending when their sentence expires and they are released from prison,” Mr Hazzard said.

“It’s important for police to know which high risk offenders reside in their local area and for offenders to be aware that they are on the police radar.

“These latest changes build on earlier work to tighten the ESO system where we’ve overhauled and restructured Corrective Services NSW sections responsible for monitoring and supervision, and put in extra resources.”

Changes to the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act 2006 will:

  • Double jail sentences for breaches of ESOs – from two years to five years.

  • Supplement court-ordered conditions relating to reporting to police, computer and internet use and employment and finances.

  • Establish a High Risk Offenders Assessment Committee to review and assess high risk offenders, and ensure greater information sharing and co-operation across government agencies especially Corrective Services NSW and Police.

  • Introduce Emergency Detention Orders.
    “The Emergency Detention Orders would be used where a change in an offender’s circumstances means there is an imminent risk of them committing a serious offence that can only be addressed by short term detention in custody,” Mr Hazzard said.

“The emergency orders can last for up to five days, which would allow the State to address the safety issue or seek further detention orders in court where the offender can argue their case.

“The NSW Government is putting in place the laws and resources to better safeguard the community from a very small, but significant, group of high risk offenders,” Mr Hazzard said.