Abuse monitoring ‘broken’
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam has raised questions in WA’s Parliament about adequate monitoring of regional sex offenders.
Ms Mettam’s office has worked closely with the family of a victim at the centre of the shocking case which concluded this week with two offenders in the Capes region jailed.
WA Police declined to list the number of registered sex offenders monitored by local officers in the Dunsborough, Busselton and Margaret River police districts.
Ms Mettam said “the system is clearly broken” and wanted answers to put the community at ease.
“Nobody in the region knew about this man’s past,” she told the Times. “He was promoted on page three of a local paper for his community work when he had already served jail time for serious sex offences.
“The system is clearly broken and the Liberal Opposition will be calling for an urgent review of the current legislation.”
Ms Mettam flagged the issue with Police Minister Michelle Roberts and shadow police minister Peter Katsambanis last year.
Responding to the media this week, WA Police said they did all that was required in the case involving David Lindner, who went on to sexually abuse two 12-year-old boys after being convicted in Canada and deported for raping his stepson.
Lindner and Peter Wallace Hill were jailed this week for 11 years and four years respectively.
Deputy Commissioner for specialist services and reform Stephen Brown said there were 3500 sex offenders registered in WA and the reality of police resourcing was they could not all be tracked every day.
“While I haven’t been able to talk about this or any other specific case, I’m satisfied at this point in time on all the advice that all that was required by the WA Police was done,” he said.
The father of one victim said it was “abominable, disgusting” the man would be eligible for parole after serving nine years.
“He has not been monitored,” the man said.
“If somebody would have bothered to do intrusive calls on him, walk in his house, look at his computers, look at his phones, it’s all over.”
Ms Mettam said the system meant registered offenders were not automatically flagged with police beyond reporting requirements. “This man was on the register and apparently meeting his reporting obligations, which meant local police were left completely in the dark,” she said.
“Our laws in relation to how we manage these offenders must meet communities’ expectations.
“Just as local officers put bikies on their picture boards they should also be able to do this for these offenders.
“Unfortunately, because of the legislation that protects the identity of these offenders, this can’t happen.
“This clearly needs to change.”
When Mr Katsambanis raised the case in Parliament last year, he said the man had “quite clearly” slipped through the cracks.
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