Family violence ‘perpetrators’ to be fitted with tracking devices, regardless of conviction

4th Feb 2018

The worst of Tasmania’s family violence perpetrators will soon be fitted with tracking devices, regardless of whether they have been convicted of a crime.

New laws mean Tasmania Police can apply to courts to force offenders to wear ankle bracelets that monitor their movements around the clock, as a condition of a Family Violence Order.

Victims can also volunteer to be monitored, in a bid to increase their safety in public spaces.

“This can act as a deterrent but also if an offence is committed they can provide evidence,” Inspector Robert Blackwood said.

Spain and Portugal are trialling a similar idea and New South Wales recently started putting the trackers on some perpetrators who have exiting Family Violence Orders against them, as they leave jail.

But Tasmania is taking it further.

In an Australian-first, police can now apply to a magistrate to have a tracker put on people who have never been convicted of an offence – an allegation or a history of violence (even without a successful prosecution) could be enough to see some people tracked.

“It’s certainly the more serious family violence perpetrators that we’d be making application to,” Inspector Blackwood said=

“They’re going to need to have a history of family violence, they may be charged with a family violence offence as well,” Inspector Blackwood said.

It means that police can proactively monitor known offenders and act to intervene when they get too close to their victims rather than scramble to respond once a protection or restraint order has been breached.

Previously they could only act after they were notified of a breach, which in some cases meant the victim had again been assaulted by their abuser.

Unlike the NSW initiative, victims can also opt to carry a GPS device so police can monitor where their abuser is in relation to them and warn them if they get too close.

“They’re not actually fitted with a device permanently, they just carry a device and what that allows us to do is monitor where the victim is in proximity to where the family violence perpetrator is,” Inspector Blackwood said.

“An example is the victim is within a shopping centre and the offender, aware or unaware that the victim is at that location, is approaching that shopping centre.

“We could then notify the victim that the perpetrator is within a certain proximity of them and activate that safety plan that’s already been established and also arrange a police response.”

Surprise support

Victims will not be able to monitor their abuser themselves.

“The victim does not have access to any information about the location of the perpetrator, they just carry a device, so the monitoring centre becomes aware when they are in proximity of each other and we can take action,” Inspector Blackwood said.

 

 

 

source/read more:http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-04/tas-family-violence-perpetrators-to-be-get-tracking-devices/9394340

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