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McGowan Labor Government aims to strengthen offender monitoring

The McGowan Labor Government is aiming to invest more than $52 million to help improve community safety with expanded electronic monitoring of offenders in the community.

The expanded electronic monitoring, which needs legislative change, would apply another level of oversight on offenders who may have received suspended prison terms, community-based orders, or defendants on bail.

It would be the decision of a judicial officer about how the electronic monitoring would be applied.

In the short term, the $52.3 million investment includes additional police officers to work with the Department of Justice’s electronic monitoring team which has been moved to the State Operations Command Centre.

This is the first time that the two agencies have worked so closely together, and is another demonstration of the McGowan Labor Government’s commitment to improving community safety.

The investment would also include new GPS monitoring devices that have the ability to continue real-time monitoring in the case of a mobile network interruption.

The devices restrict wearers to particular areas and could also be used for home detention and ensuring curfews are met.

The electronic monitoring would be another layer on top of existing conditions imposed by judicial officers for offenders in the community.

Legislation to enable the expanded electronic monitoring of offenders and defendants in the community will be introduced to State Parliament in the coming months.

The $52.3 million investment includes the previously announced $15.5 million trial for electronically monitoring family and domestic violence offenders.

Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:

“This proposed $52.3 million investment in the new devices, extra police officers and the new electronic monitoring station at the Maylands Police Complex demonstrate the McGowan Government’s commitment to improving community safety.

“The Department of Justice is now collaborating even more closely with police at the State Operations Command Centre and along with the introduction of these new devices and extra monitoring officers, community safety would be significantly improved.

“Electronic monitoring is not a standalone tool, but rather helps the Department of Justice keep an even closer eye on people in the community who are also subject to strict conditions.

The extra layer of community safety follows the McGowan Government’s $322 million investment in 1,228 new prison beds by 2022 to address the inherited overcrowded prisons legacy.”

Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:

“The expansion of this state-of-the-art technology would bring WA into line with more than 30 countries around the world where its use is routine including New Zealand, England, the USA and many parts of Europe.

“It would be the decision of a judicial officer how the electronic monitoring would be applied, but it is another measure the McGowan Government is aiming to make available to keep our community safe.

“The expansion of electronic monitoring would include tracking the movements of high-risk offenders who breach Family Violence Restraining Orders, serious dangerous sex offenders, along with other eligible offenders.”

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