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Notification Obligations of Sex Offenders ('Sex Offenders Register')

 

Sex Offenders Act 2001

Under Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 (PDF, 104 KB), those who are convicted of defined sexual offences are obliged to provide certain information to the Gardaí, including the address at which they are living following their release from prison.

Upon conviction for a qualifying sexual offence in Ireland, the court is required to issue a certificate, stating the offence to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit of the Gardaí, the convicted offender and the governor of the facility where the offender is to be detained. The certificate sets out the sentence received and the fact that the person has become subject to a reporting requirement.

In addition, the court may impose a period of 'post-release supervision' on the offender which is supervised by the Probation Service in liaison with the Gardaí. Certain conditions may be included in the order of supervision, such as prohibiting the offender from attending certain places or requiring that the offender receive appropriate treatment.


 

Centralised Data on the Whereabouts of Sex Offenders

The only centralised data on the whereabouts of sex offenders in Ireland is the record kept by the Garda Síochána Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit of the certificates received from the courts, cross-referenced with Sex Offenders Notification Forms received from the Garda station in the area where the sex offender resides. It should be noted that there is no 'Sex Offenders Register' as such and the term is not included in any section of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. Information on the whereabouts of sex offenders is not made available to the public.

As of the 26th November 2007, there were 1,077 persons subject to the requirements of Part 2 of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. As of 29 November, 2007 there were 113 sex offenders being supervised by the Probation Service.

(Answer to Parliamentary Question Number 157, 29/11/07)


 

Notification Obligations of Offenders

Qualifying offenders must notify the Gardaí of their name and home address within 7 days of becoming subject to the reporting requirements, generally meaning after release from prison. The governor in charge of the prison must also notify the Garda Commissioner at least 10 days before the date of the release. Sex offenders resident in Ireland but convicted outside the state are subject to the same notification requirements as those convicted in Irish courts.

Those subject to reporting requirements must notify the Gardaí within seven days of any change of name, change of home address, or if they intend to reside elsewhere in Ireland or abroad for more than seven days.

Offenders may give notification in the following ways:

  • By attending in person at any Garda station which is a Divisional or District Headquarters and giving the information required orally to a member of that Garda station or;
  • By sending by post a written notification of the information required to any such Divisional or District Headquarters

After the Gardaí receive the notification, they acknowledge it in writing and complete a Sex Offenders Notification Form. The original completed form is sent to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit of An Garda Síochána at Harcourt Square, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. A copy of the form is sent to the offender and an additional copy is retained in the Garda station.


 

Local-level Supervision by Gardaí

At a local level the Gardaí, through nominated Inspectors, regularly make enquiries to ensure that the sex offenders in the local district are still residing at the address given in the notification form and that all the information contained in the notification form is accurate and up to date. A nominated Inspector in each Garda Division has responsibility for liaising with the central Garda Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit for the purpose of monitoring the application of the Sex Offenders Act 2001 in general.


 

Consequences of Non-Compliance

The period of time the requirement to notify the Gardaí lasts is conditional on the length of prison sentence originally imposed for the offence. Offenders who fail to comply with the notification requirements may be fined up to €1,900 or imprisoned for up to one year.

 

 

 

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