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Child Sex Register Goes Live In Australia
An online child sex offender register has been made accessible to the public in Australia.
The Community Protection website features profiles of known paedophiles and repeat offenders in Western Australia (WA).
Parents will be able to enter their address to find any convicted paedophiles living nearby, and request more information including photographs.
Detectives from the Child Sex Crimes Squad said 120 people so far are eligible to be published on the site.
Nine offenders, who have gone underground, will be identifiable by photographs and personal details including aliases.
Police said the website would be a useful tool for parents to try to help keep their children safe.
"This has been a bit of a balancing act between community safety and managing the ability of the police to manage dangerous sex offenders and reportable offenders in the community," said WA's police minister Liza Harvey.
But others fear the website will lead to mistaken identity and vigilante attacks.
"People's photos will end up on YouTube and as well as vigilante attacks, there may well be wrong identifications," said Linda Black from the Criminal Lawyers' Association of WA.
Jonathan Davies, from the Australian Lawyers Alliance, also warned of: "Violence, damage to property, slashed tyres and broken windows. These things will flow and they will have no practical remedy."
Detectives moved to assure legal groups by saying vigilantism would never be accepted and that it is an offence to republish any information from the site on the internet.