Courts will be able to make orders to keep Western Australia’s most violent criminals behind bars beyond their sentence using strong new laws passed by State Parliament today.
The new laws mean that violent offenders, who are nearing their release date and are deemed likely to pose an unacceptable risk to the community, could be issued with a continuing detention or supervision order.
The legislation will protect Western Australians from sexual and violent offenders and delivers on the McGowan Government’s commitment to create a high risk offenders scheme that provides for continuing detention or supervision of those offenders for which the community expects the strongest response from Government.
A High Risk (Sexual and Violent) Offenders Board, consisting of the heads of relevant agencies, will be established to facilitate the co-ordination of managing the State’s most serious offenders.
It is anticipated that the new legislation will come into operation on September 1, 2020.
As stated by Attorney General John Quigley:
“These new laws will operate in the same way as the dangerous sex offenders legislation.
“It will give the Supreme Court the power, upon receipt of an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions or State Solicitor’s Office, to order the continuing detention or supervision of an offender who has committed serious violent crimes but at the completion of their sentence continues to pose an unacceptable risk of violent reoffending.
“Such offenders should remain either behind bars or under strict supervision in the community until such time as they no longer pose an unacceptable risk to public safety.
“We see this approach taken with serious sexual predators and it has been working very effectively since the introduction of the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act in 2006.
“Since the dangerous sexual offender laws were introduced by a former Labor Government, only one individual subject to such an order has reoffended in a sexual manner.
“The courts will now be able to deal with WA’s most dangerous and violent criminals in exactly the same way.
“This will include members of outlaw motorcycle gangs, offenders convicted of kidnapping, robbery, and grievous bodily harm, as well as additional sexual offences including those involving child exploitation material.
“By expanding the dangerous sexual offenders post-sentence scheme to include offenders who commit serious violent offences, we are making our community safer and protecting the most vulnerable from sexual predators and violent criminals.”
Attorney General’s office – 6552 6800