Which way to go on sex offenders? | #predators | #childpredators | #kids

NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe, QC, speaks to the media yesterday.
PHOTO: Donavan McIntosh/ Tribune staff


Tribune Chief Reporter


NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe, QC, has questioned the efficacy of a sexual offenders register saying he would prefer a ten-year track of prisoners after their release.

Mr Munroe told reporters yesterday he is unsure of a register’s value given the size of New Providence.

He added he is much more persuaded to follow the Parole and Re-entry Committee’s 2016 recommendation that dangerous criminals be monitored for up to a decade after their release.

Mr Munroe said he believed this method would be more useful. Nonetheless, he said the government would follow through with the register if it may prevent just one single offence.

In recent days there has been renewed outcry for a sexual offenders registry.

It comes after the death of four-year-old Bella Walker on Friday. The child died at Princess Margaret Hospital after she was brought to the facility with injuries about the body.

Police have not said that Bella was sexually assaulted, however. Last night, police said the child – who has been officially identified as D’Onya Bella Walker – died as a result of blunt force trauma to the body which resulted in multiple fractures.

Yesterday, Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said a man and woman remain in police custody in relation to the investigation.

Yesterday when he was asked about the progress of implementing a sexual offenders register, Mr Munroe said an appointed day notice had been signed by an Attorney General some years ago. Although this was the case, he said he was not certain if the Attorney General was the proper minister to sign the document.

“I’m asking the Attorney General (Ryan Pinder) for an opinion on that but I’m going to be briefed on this on Thursday,” Mr Munroe said. “My understanding is that the software is here and available that there was one person being tracked to test the system and I will find out on Thursday why it has not been fully deployed already. The impression I get is that it was ready to be deployed and was simply waiting on the say-so of the minister.

“While I hear all of the talk about a sex offenders register, I would question its efficacy. We live on an island 21 by 7. It’ll take you exactly 45 minutes to get from one end of the island to the other end of the island so I’m not sure what value there is on knowing who is on the 21 by 7.

“But if it may prevent one offence, we’re going to follow through with it.”

He continued: “I am much more persuaded that a recommendation by the Parole and Re-entry Committee 2016 is more useful and that is a proposal that any dangerous criminal will be subject to being tracked with conditions after they are released from prison. So, if you are a sexual predator when you’re released from prison, we will monitor you electronically for up to 10 years after you get out of prison.

“To my mind that is more useful because we will know where you are 24 hours a day and to my mind that’s certainly better.”

When the legislation does come into force, Mr Munroe said the government has no intention to change any of the legislation.

“We don’t intend to change any of the legislation. This has been too long in the planning and the execution.

“The only change that I have seen suggested that instead of the person reporting just once a year they report more frequently than once a year, but the registrar is appointed, it’s a known person. The reporting sites have been identified and it’s just a matter of getting it done and after the briefing on Thursday they intend to get it done.”

Mr Munroe maintained that crime is a consequence of society.

“We raise criminals so when I have a child and I don’t properly socialise the child and the child decides to commit crime that is how crime is committed,” he said. “We through (the) Citizen Security and Justice (initiative) we’re talking about – and you would have heard it in the House – the implementation of community centres to help to raise children better.

“The police cannot stop somebody committing a crime. Parents raise proper children; society raises proper children. When we have young men 15, 16, 17 years old deciding that their career will be to kill other people then that means we’ve had a serious societal failure in raising that person.

“We have to pay better attention to young people as they come up and they grow up. We have to pay better attention to juveniles who seem to be off the track,” Mr Munroe said.

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