Electronic trackers have been fitted to 747 Queensland criminals but not all are monitored in real time
Almost 750 criminals, including traffic offenders and fraudsters, have been fitted with electronic trackers since Queensland began monitoring parolees last year.
- 747 parolees have been tracked in one year, including traffic offenders
- The opposition says retrospective monitoring is a “serious loophole”
- Queensland Corrective Services says dangerous sexual offenders are subject to strict 24-hour monitoring
New figures obtained by ABC News show 747 parolees were tracked in one year, including 334 criminals convicted of violent offences, 137 for property and fraud crimes and 49 for traffic and motor vehicle crimes.
But only 500 people can be fitted at any one time and not all offenders are monitored in real time.
A Queensland Corrective Services spokeswoman said the movements of most offenders were checked retrospectively when they reported to authorities.
“The review of the movement data to check compliance is undertaken retrospectively for most parolees, usually when they report to our offices,” she said.
“At the other end of the scale, Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) (DPSO) are subject to the strictest of monitoring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — if they breach their curfew or enter exclusion areas, our officers immediately respond.
“Should any offender, whether they be a parolee or a DPSO offender, attempt to tamper or remove their GPS monitoring device, an alert is immediately generated and responded to by our staff.”
|Type of offence||number|
|Violent non-sexual offences||334|
|Property and fraud offences||137|
|Good order offences||56|
|Traffic and motor vehicle offences||49|
The total number of parolees fitted with GPS trackers/electronic monitoring devices, last financial year.
Offence type is based on the offender’s most serious offence.
Retrospective monitoring a ‘serious loophole’
Only 500 devices are available to use at any one time, with the program costing the State Government $2.3 million in the last financial year.
Shadow police minister Trevor Watts said more should be made available, and all of them should be tracked in real time, calling the retrospective monitoring a “serious loophole”.
“It is of major concern that at any one time, only up to 500 paroles may be fitted,” he said.
“The Labor government also must give Queenslanders confidence that a lack of real-time monitoring of these offenders isn’t putting community safety at risk.”
The Queensland Corrective Services spokeswoman said the trackers had so far proved useful in managing the behaviour of offenders.
“For instance, if someone has a record of alcohol-related violence, their parole conditions may include that they are not to go to entertainment precincts as a part of a plan, which may also include alcohol counselling and a requirement they abstain from drinking,” she said.
“A GPS tracker could be used to monitor an offender’s movements, with our officers checking their GPS data to determine whether they’ve attended any licensed premises or entertainment precincts.”
The first parolee was fitted with a GPS device in February 2017.