POLITICS

All Aspects Of Child Sex Abuse Targeted In Proposed Australian Laws

Policing of paedophiles is being swept into the 21st century.

12/09/2017 12:46 PM AEST | Updated 12/09/2017 2:49 PM AEST
Alex Ellinghausen/Fairfax
Michael Keenan: "This represents the strongest crackdown on paedophiles in a generation."

CANBERRA -- Policing of paedophiles is being swept into the 21st century, including covering social media "grooming" and live streamed child abuse.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan on Tuesday announced a swathe of proposed laws targeting all aspects of the child sex offender cycle.

In the package, which passed the Government's joint party room, there would be a presumption for what the Minister describes as the worst offenders against bail and for imprisonment. As well, paedophiles would face mandatory minimum sentences, similar to the sentencing for terrorists and people smugglers.

In this case, an enforced sentence which is 25 per cent of the maximum sentence that is available for the crime.

"This represents the strongest crackdown on paedophiles in a generation," the Minister told reporters in Canberra.

"Current sentencing practices for commonwealth child sex offenders often result in manifestly inadequate sentencing which does not sufficiently recognised the harm that has been caused to the victims, in this case children."

The proposed laws target paedophiles who offend overseas and crimes committed over a carriage service like social media. There will be increased penalties for internet providers who do not report child sex abuse to police and new and emerging technologies, that may be used to facilitate abuse, are included in the package.

"We want to send the strongest possible message that we will not tolerate this form of crime," Keenan said. "We won't tolerate people preying on our children."

The bill stops judges from using the offender's "standing in the community" to discount the sentence, if such "standing" was used in the commission of the offence.

It's expected the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill will be introduced to Parliament this week, with a Government view to it passing before the end of 2017.

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