LIVING NEXT DOOR TO EVIL: HOW AUSTRALIA IS AWASH WITH 17,000 CONVICTED PAEDOPHILES – AND POLICE CAN’T KEEP TRACK OF THEM ALL
- Article by Nic White Daily Mail Australia
Australia is awash with 17,000 convicted paedophiles but there are not enough police to keep track of them all – let alone ensure our children are safe.
Many of the registered child sex offenders are living near schools, daycare centres, public parks and swimming pools – right under the noses of unsuspecting parents.
Disturbingly, only a fraction of the worst criminals are actively monitored as police resources are pushed to their absolute limits.
In parts of New South Wales, one officer is responsible for trying to keep tabs on up to 100 convicted child sex offenders – even then it is often on an ‘ad hoc, part-time basis’.
With almost half of convicted paedophiles reoffending within four years, police admit they have no idea where hundreds of those on the ever-growing list are living.
Each year, dozens of dangerous offenders slip the net and have to be hunted down.
Some commit new crimes just hours after being released from prison, as was the case with serial Sydney paedophile Dean Angus Bell, 25.
With an increasing number of child sex offenders out on parole and thousands more soon to be released, there are calls for a public register and one mayor even declared his council a ‘paedophile-free zone’.
The problem is so bad that the NSW Police Union issued a desperate plea for additional officers to monitor the state’s more than 4,000 registered offenders.
Union president Tony King said there was often only one officer for every 100 cases when each officer could realistically only handle 30 at most.
‘The child protection register is our way of keeping an eye on these grubs, to prevent reoffending, and to protect our kids,’ he said.
‘The officers who do this work day in and day out are stretched to capacity… we simply don’t have enough police to do the job.’
Mr King said police only had time to intensively monitor 67 convicted paedophiles a month and the whereabouts of 201 are unknown.
There are 62 whose DNA has never been tested, which could be matched to unidentified DNA samples in 80 cold cases.
About 1,100 of NSW’s paedophiles live in the north of the state, between the Central Coast and the border with Queensland.
In those areas there were no officers keeping tabs on them full-time and it was instead done on a ‘part-time, ad-hoc basis’ on top of their regular duties.
Police sources told Daily Mail Australia that paedophiles were taking advantage of thin police resources in regional NSW by moving out of Sydney to places like the Central Coast or inland towns.
Electronic monitoring, usually with an ankle bracelet, helps keep track of offenders, but is only reserved for the worst ones – who still frequently escape.
Thirty in South Australia wear them – 10 of which were locked up for breaching parole – and almost 100 in Victoria.
While NSW is relatively forthcoming with its data, most states refuse to divulge any information about how many paedophiles are on their registers or where they live.
However, the numbers sometimes leak to the public or are announced in government press releases.
Australia’s biggest paedophile hotspot is Western Australia, which has more than 3,500 on its register for a population of less than 2.7 million.
The state’s monitoring shortfalls were highlighted last year when a man was able to abuse two boys after being jailed for raping his stepson.
Premier Mark McGowan admitted the system ‘failed’ and needed significant improvement to adequately monitor dangerous paedophiles.
WA’s huge list compared with 4,000 people in Victoria, which has a population of 6.36 million, and about 3,500 in Queensland.
There are 379 on the Northern Territory’s register, and about 300 on Tasmania’s.
Queensland was in 2016 closely monitoring 94 of its worst offenders, 67 living in Brisbane and 17 in Townsville, which only has a population of 190,000.
Hundreds are said to be living on the Sunshine Coast, including 70 in Palmwoods-Woombye where Daniel Morcombe, 13, was raped and murdered in 2003.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in January proposed the state lists be combined into a semi-public national register.
Paedophiles’ names, dates of birth, photos, crimes, and a general location such as their postcode would be included.
Mr Dutton said this would allow parents to better protect their children as they would know how many child sex offenders lived in their neighbourhood.
‘It would have a strong deterrent effect on offenders and ensure parents are not in the dark about whether a registered sex offender has access to their children,’ he said.
Western Australia’s register allows the public to search for dangerous and high-risk paedophiles living in surrounding suburbs.
The Victorian opposition proposed a similar scheme last year before it lost the state election.
One Sydney mayor wants to remove this issue altogether by declaring his council area a ‘paedophile-free zone’ in a letter to the NSW Government.
‘Our city has more than 52 schools and is built on families — I want it to be a paedophile-free zone,’ Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone wrote.
‘I demand this paedophile and any others in Fairfield are removed from this and other similar neighbourhoods.’
Mayor Carbone wrote the letter in response to serial child rapist Brian Alan Bowdidge, 58, being released on parole into the area.
It is part of a growing backlash to paedophiles being released into the wider community.
Recently, Daily Mail Australia reported how a serial paedophile Dean Angus Bell, 25, classified in the top one per cent of sex offenders, was living in the same street as a child daycare centre. He has since been arrested after breaching a strict child prevention order by using his mother’s iPhone to view images of children in the middle of the night.
And in February, violent child rapist Joel Pregnell was arrested after being spotted near a school in Victoria.
The NSW government is currently fighting to keep Michael Guider in jail. Guider was serving a 16-year sentence imposed in 1996 for 60 offences against 11 children when police realised he was also responsible for one of Australia’s most high-profile unsolved crimes – the death of nine-year-old schoolgirl Samantha Knight. He is due for release in June.
Among the worst of the worst is Warren Hayter, who has a twisted fetish for abusing disabled boys as young as eight. His offences occurred across several states, including Queensland, NSW and South Australia.
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