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Kat’s Blog: Blimey, Who Does Australia’s Fact Checking?

Peter Dutton, Minister for Home Affairs in Australia wants to be the white knight riding in to save his constituents from “sex offenders” by proposing a National Public Registry.

“Thwarting the exploitation of children is my key priority as Minister for Home Affairs” says Dutton.

Fact #1:  That’s all well and good, except Australia already has state-based registries with various levels of public accessibility in Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  Even with those state-based registries, there has been a 77% rise in child sex abuse and exploitation of children between 2017 and 2018 in Australia. (Proof that registries don’t work.)

Fact #2: According to the Minister, a national system would stop pedophiles from evading public scrutiny. Pedophilia is a diagnosis Mr. Dutton, not all “sex offenders” suffer from pedophilia. This is basic registry 101.  Educate yourself “before” you make a fool of yourself.  And public scrutiny? Registrants have already completed their sentences? Why should the public scrutinize them at all?  

Fact #3:  A National Registry would list names, photographs, date of birth, aliases, nature of conviction and postal codes.  According to the Minister, “no addresses to avoid vigilante groups or people forming groups outside particular residences”.  21st century sir, a name and the internet is all it takes to find anyone’s address. Listing only a postal code will not deter vigilantes. 

Fact 4#: According to Peter Dutton, “the registry will deter offenders and help parents and families make informed decisions about who supervises their children.”  Has this man not read any statistics?  It’s unfortunate, but child sexual offenses are often committed by a trusted family member or a trusted friend of the family.  Public shaming is not a deterrent, it’s cruel and unusual punishment. Futhermore, statics show that most registrants don’t go on to commit further offenses.

Fact #5: Long-time anti-pedophile campaigner (who knew there was such a title) Derryn Hinch said “people are entitled to know about child “sex offenders” in their area. Why are people “entitled” to know anything about registrants who have already served their sentence? With that kind of reasoning shouldn’t people be entitled to know about the murderers, thieves, forgers, adulterers or spousal abusers living in their area?

Mr. Hinch also states “the register active in the US since 1996 hasn’t encouraged vigilantes.” Mr. Hinch, tell that to the families of those US registrants that have been murdered by vigilantes who located them from info gained from the US public registry.

Perhaps the Minister for Home Affairs in Australia should do some educational reading, hire a fact checker, do something, anything, instead of political grandstanding by suggesting yet another useless registry whose negative ramifications he obviously knows nothing about.

Join the discussion

  1. James

    Great post! Constructive criticism with a bite. Keep posting Kat!

  2. Will Allen

    Kat, I love your writings. Please do continue!

    But I would like to correct one thing that I think is incorrect. “Fact #1” is not “Proof that registries don’t work.” For example, perhaps if the Registries did not exist the rise would have been 150% instead of 77%. Cause and effect is complicated. Let’s not oversimplify it like the Registry Harassers/Terrorists try to do.

    Regarding Fact #5, I can’t believe that people still say things like “people are entitled to know” with a straight face. Is there anyone with a brain that believes people are entitled to know about $EX crimes and not all others? I often feel like smart people say really dumb things because they know that most people are dumb and that they’ll believe it. Is that the case with these politicians? I think it is with many of them.

    • Tim

      The society’s databases bring wth them a sense of perfect information in the market. This is as palpable as real time data on stock markets. Users of devices react to bells like Pavlovian mutts. Bing! I’m inportant! Need perceived but distorted. Many Americans fall to electronic over reliance daily. A texting driver makes that simple case. A simple text far more deadly than a pack of smokes. Americans opt for electronic to educate kids in math, as the Chinese kids kick their collective asses on SATs using a basic abacus! Teachers striking cause the money spent in electronic licence and trinket. I have dozens of wire notebooks filled with the Algebra writes and workouts to show for Ms. Arrensa’s demand for perfection in pencil ! Thanks lady!I

      Letting my a kid loose on the internet is worse than letting them play in the street.

  3. kat

    Re: Will Allen’s comment-
    Point taken.

  4. Joe123

    This is excellent, how can we get this in front of people IN Australia’s media or political system for others to view?

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