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Queensland Police are getting new powers to crack down on paedophiles

Queensland Police are getting new powers to crack down on paedophiles

Police will now be able to search the electronic devices of reportable offenders without a warrant.

Queensland police will soon have even more powers to stop child predators in their tracks.

Thanks to the beefed up new legislation, Queensland Police will now be allowed to enter properties of a reportable offender to inspect digital devices without a warrant.

The move comes after Queensland Police advised the State Government there has been an increasing trend in child sex offenders using new web technology to mask their hideous crimes online.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said police have continued to discover child sex offenders taking advantage of new web technology to target children since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan.
Mark Ryan/Facebook.

"It is a very alarming and disturbing trend," he said as per a statement.

"Currently advanced anonymising software exists, such as virtual private networks and hidden phone applications, allowing these predators to remain invisible online, hiding evidence of their child sex offending."

The first-of-its-kind legislation in Australia, the Child Protection (Offenders Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, will be introduced to parliament this week.

Police will now be able to enter the residence of a reportable offender to undertake a digital device inspection and will require reportable offenders to disclose their use of anonymising software, vault, and 'black hole' applications and so on to mask their internet data, and to hand over their media access control (MAC) address to police.

A MAC address is the unique identifier assigned to digital devices.

If they don't do what officers say, they will cop penalties under a new offence for failing to comply, which could see them behind bars for up to five years.

Queensland Police will have new powers to thwart tech savvy sex offenders.
Dan Grytsku / Alamy

Minister Ryan went on to dub child sex offenders as 'the lowest of the low'.

"I am determined they’ll have nowhere to hide," he said.

"As technology changes, it is critical police are given the tools they need to keep the pressure on child sex offenders."

Queensland Police Acting Chief Superintendent Denzil Clark said that the new police powers 'will go a very long way to evening the playing field' when it comes to catching child sex offenders.

"At the moment our power of entry is in relation to confirming reportable offender's personal details," he said, as per a Queensland Government statement.

He added: "When it comes to a device inspection, we do not have that current power. We have to do it with the consent of the person, or we have to do it outside the premises."

Official statistics up to 2020 show the number of sexual offenders charged by police in Australia has grown by 13 per cent in a decade, as per the Herald Sun.

Featured Image Credit: Mark Wiener / Alamy. SOPA Images Limited / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, News