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Trinidad: Public to know sex offenders if new law passed

[newsday.co.tt – 3/24/21]

MEMBERS of the public will soon be able to learn the identities of any convicted sex offenders living amongst them, according to a new bill laid in the Senate on Tuesday in the name of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The Commissioner of Police (CoP) shall maintain a Public Sex Offender Website, the bill mandates, which the public can access at the click of a mouse.

Two years ago in February 2019 Al-Rawi had piloted the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2019 which had proposed the CoP compile an online public register of convicted sex offenders, whose passports would also be stamped with a public warning.

However, while the register was approved as a document to stay in police hands, public access to it was denied (as was a passport stamp,) after a recommendation by a Senate Special Select Committee at the urgings of a group of NGOs including CAISO, Womantra and the Institute of Gender and Development Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWI.)

The NGOs had suggested publicity could expose the offender and his relatives to danger and harm efforts at his rehabilitation. However, since the kidnapping and murder of Andrea Bharatt, 23, and Ashanti Riley, 18, many people including Riley’s mother have called for public access to a sexual offenders register.

Read the full article

 

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The people of Trinidad need to know the facts before they implement an inhuman law that will actually make the public less safe because it will destabilize the lives of those listed on it as well as all of their family members. The facts are that over 95% of people arrested for sexual offenses are people with no conviction record who would never be on any list. The about 4% that have been previously convicted of something are most likely going to spend a much longer time in prison due to their prior convictions. But the real problem is that people who kidnap, then rape, then murder, are not the kind of people that will ever be found on such a registry. They are a very rare and very small group. Something close to .001 percent of people with a past sexual offense will commit that triple crime of Kidnapping, rape, and murder.
No sex offense registry will stop such people. No registry will protect anyone.
The people that kidnap, then rape, then murder their victims are rarer than people that fire guns in crowded stores, shopping centers, and elementary schools.
Your children are more likely to end up on such a registry, than to ever be touched by someone on that list.

People of Trinidad, do not follow the very bad example of the United States. Vote no to any kind of public registry.

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