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Sex Fiends Find Way To Kids
THREE sex predators have been caught working with children or hiding personal details in a bid to prey on kids without detection under the state's sex offenders' register.
Authorities have arrested one convicted pedophile for working in his previous job as a swimming instructor, a role that gave him direct access to children.
The 26-year-old man, who was serving a community-based order for committing an indecent act against a child under 16, now faces jail time for breaching a ban on employment with children.
Two other sex offenders were caught providing false information to police to try to beat strict conditions imposed under the register.
The men face up to two years in jail and $24,000 fines for the offences.
Police Minister Tim Holding said yesterday the Government was committed to leading the fight against the insidious activities of pedophiles and other serious sex offenders.
He said the register provided a deterrent for serious sex offenders from reoffending as authorities were able to monitor their locations and movements.
Crime victim groups said while the arrests showed the register was working successfully, they also proved the justice system was failing to protect the community from sex offenders.
Crime Victims Support Association president Noel McNamara said it was disgraceful one of the sex offenders was never sentenced to time behind bars, despite the danger he posed.
Mr McNamara said the other men should have received tougher sentences when they were first convicted.
He said serious sex offenders should be forced to wear electronic tags for life so they could be monitored more strictly.
Under the sex offenders' registration laws, which came into force seven months ago, all convicted pedophiles have to tell police personal information including their current and former names, home and work addresses and details of any birthmarks or scars.
Those on the register are banned from any employment which can give them access to children.
The register applies to all child sex offenders who are sentenced to jail or are considered by a court to be a serious risk.
They are tracked for a minimum of eight years - for people with no previous convictions - and for life for serial sexual predators.
Mr Holding said 398 convicted sex offenders were now registered on the computerised database.
They include six sex offenders who attacked adults and nine women who preyed on children.
Mr Holding said new legislation, before Parliament, would tighten a loophole in the original law which allowed sex offenders to change their name by deed poll to avoid scrutiny.

Herald Sun (6-6-2005)
Tanya Giles

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