By Zaya Williams
The journey toward operationalizing the Sex Offenders Register, a critical initiative to enhance public safety, has taken a step forward after a temporary pause.
Despite passing in late 2022, the register has yet to be fully implemented.
However, recent developments, including a pivotal meeting, have breathed new life into the process, according to Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin.
In an update, Benjamin said that about a week ago, Members of the Department of Social Transformation, the police, the Bar association, and persons from the Legal Affairs Ministry had a “Very good meeting” and “are getting things in place to get it properly established.”
Last year saw the passage of the Sex Offenders Register Bill (2022), a legislative milestone focused on curbing incidents of sexual reoffending by monitoring convicted sex offenders and sharing their information with some sections of society.
The Bill passed in November 2022 empowers individuals to seek confirmation from the Commissioner of Police regarding whether a named individual is a registered sex offender. The public can also apply for such confirmation; however, misuse of this information carries significant legal consequences.
Under Bill’s provisions, a fine of $10,000 or imprisonment for three years awaits anyone who, by pretences, obtains information from the Commissioner of Police about a registered sex offender, misuses obtained information, or intentionally and maliciously disseminates details gleaned from the sexual offender’s register.