Australian police officers' perceptions of sex offender registries

Powell, Martine, Day, Andrew, Benson, Mairi, Vess, Jim, and Graffam, Joe (2014) Australian police officers' perceptions of sex offender registries. Policing & Society, 24 (1). pp. 120-133.

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Abstract

Sex offender registration schemes exist in most English speaking countries to assist police in the investigation of new crimes and to deter known offenders. To date, however, very little research has examined the efficacy of these registers. This study addresses this issue by providing the first qualitative analysis of police officers' perceptions of registration schemes. Twenty-four Australian police professionals (whose jobs were primarily associated with the operation of sex offender registration schemes) participated in focus groups in groups of 2-5 officers. Officers were recruited across three jurisdictions where quite distinct registration schemes operated. They were asked to reflect on how their register operates, how effective and efficient it is, the challenges faced in its administration and how the registry process might be improved. The key challenges addressed included; limitations in risk assessment expertise, restriction in legislative powers, and inadequate opportunity for specialisation. The implications for current practice are discussed.

Item ID: 47188
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1477-2728
Keywords: police procedure, sex offender registry
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 07:50
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1602 Criminology > 160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940404 Law Enforcement @ 100%
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