If you are convicted of a sexual offence against a child, in addition to being required to serve your sentence you will also be subject to reporting conditions. Those conditions are prescribed by the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004 (“the Act”). Offenders should familiarise themselves with their obligations under this Act, as failure to meet their obligations may lead to criminal charges, and possibly imprisonment.
The law recognises that any risk to the lives or sexual safety of children is unacceptable.
The purpose of the Act is to:
The objective is to reduce the likelihood that an offender will re-offend and to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of any future offences that the offender may commit.
You may be subject to the requirements under this Act if you have been convicted of a ‘reportable offence’. Reportable offences include (but are not limited to) rape, sexual assault, indecent treatment of a child, and child exploitation material offences.
A ‘reportable offender’ is a person who:
A reportable offender will receive a ‘Notice of Reportable Offender’s Reporting Obligation’ (“the notice”) directing them to make their initial report to a police station within 7 days of receiving the paperwork. If a reportable offender does not receive the notice requiring them to make their initial report, they should report online or via telephone (details are below).
A reportable offender will then be required to make periodic reports in each reporting month, starting in the first month following the initial report. Periodic reports include a report that confirms a reportable offender’s personal details since the last report, are correct and have not changed.
A reportable offender will also be required to report other things, such as:
There will be occasions when a reportable offender will be directed to report in-person to a police station. For the most part, reporting occurs via:
If a reportable offender is unable to report online or by telephone, they can report at any local police station.
The information a reportable offender reports will be recorded in the National Child Offender System (this system is not accessible to the public). Every time a report is made, the reportable offender will be provided with a receipt or receipt number. It is important to retain the receipt or receipt number as proof the report was made.
Generally, the length of a reporting period varies depending on how many reportable offences they have been convicted of and if they are subsequently convicted of further reportable offences. For example:
They may suspend their reporting obligations in certain circumstances. These include that if they, or their parent or guardian, believes that:
If a suspension is granted, it can be revoked at any time.
The Act gives police additional powers regarding reportable offenders. These include the:
If a reportable offender engages in concerning conduct, the Police Commissioner may apply to a court for a prohibition order.
Concerning conduct means an act or omission, or a course of conduct, the nature or pattern of which poses a risk to the lives or sexual safety of one or more children, or of children generally.
A prohibition order made by the court may prohibit a reportable offender from engaging in conduct or activities which would otherwise be considered lawful. This may include, but is not limited to:
If a reportable offender fails to comply with their reporting obligations, provides false or misleading information, fails to comply with an offender prohibition order, or does not comply with a requirement by police to provide access information, they could be charged with a criminal offence, punishable by a maximum fine of 300 penalty units (which equates to $39,165.00, as at July 2019) or 5 years imprisonment.
This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Gilshenan & Luton, Criminal Lawyers Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Queensland.