WATERCOOLER: Morcombes push for sex offenders register
THE parents of slain Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe have been inundated with support after asking whether people would support Daniel's Law, which would create a website listing names and locations of violent sex offenders.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe posted on the Daniel Morcombe Foundation's Facebook page on Thursday asking whether people would back the introduction of the law honouring their son.
"#DanielsLaw We are interested in your opinion: Is a Public Accessible Sex Offenders website a good thing for Australia?
"Please click the link and vote YES or NO and help by sharing."
The post has been liked almost 8000 times and received 2000 comments, almost entirely supporting the proposed laws.
One woman wrote: "Of course, our babies are the only thing that matters. The right to anonymity is forfeited when you prey on them".
DOES AUSTRALIA NEED A PUBLIC SEX OFFENDERS REGISTER?
WOULD YOU SUPPORT DANIEL'S LAW?
Let us know in the comments below
The online poll has been running since January 27. It has received 9364 votes as of 9.30am on Friday.
The breakdown of the result is not yet known.
Although most of the feedback on Facebook was positive, some still had reservations.
One wrote that while she has enormous respect for the Morcombe family, she was concerned about vigilantism.
"I think I'd prefer that the justice system developed better ways of managing offenders on the basis that they are highly likely to reoffend," she said.
Would you support Daniel's Law, creating a national sex offenders register?
This poll ended on 12 March 2016.
Yes, information is power in this case
No, I worry there would be cases of vigilantism and mistaken identity
No, I think offenders are already watched closely enough
Yes, the world should know who and where these people are
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
She also said there could be more restrictions placed on where offenders can live, and the use of "chemical behaviour modification" and in-prison rehabilitation.
Daniel was 13 years old when he was abducted from Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast before Christmas in 2003 by convicted sex offender Brett Peter Cowan, who has since been jailed for his murder.
Cowan had a long history of raping and attacking young boys before he targeted Daniel.
The Northern Territory government considered introducing Daniel's Law in October last year - also known as the Northern Territory Sex Offender Public Website - but withdrew it in December.
The Northern Territory Law Society applauded the work of Denise and Bruce but did not support the introduction of the laws.
President Tass Liveris said in November there was no evidence that such a website would work, it could have an impact on victims, it risks vigilantism and offenders are already closely monitored by police.
He also warned that innocent people may be hurt if they are mistaken for someone listed on the website.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation believes Daniel's Law would:
- List violent sex offenders on a publicly accessible website
- Identify these people by name and alias
- Show a current photo of them
- Provide the general geographical area they live in. (Not the actual street address)
Identify in broad general terms their history of offending
The Foundation has also clarified details of the proposed laws:
- Child victim's of sexual assault will not be identified
- Suggestions of increased vigilantism is not supported by statistics
- Educating parents and children about potential risks is being responsible
- Using the internet and online technology is the modern way we communicate today
Providing an increased deterrent to future predators makes common sense