Checks fail: Sex offenders cleared to work with kids

Government regulation gives a false sense of security. Its irresponsibility and lack of effective accountability makes it very unreliable

CHILD sex offenders, drug traffickers and kidnappers are among criminals who have reportedly slipped through the net and been allowed to work with children in Victoria.

The Herald Sun says Freedom of Information documents show that three out of four ex-criminals who apply to work with children in Victoria get the go-ahead.

The paper found that the state government vetting process designed to stop dangerous or unsuitable offenders working with children has permitted more than 2700 criminals through the net.

Of those, 43 people convicted of child sex crimes have been allowed to work with kids, despite the Department of Justice's efforts to stop them.

Since 2006 when vetting began, the department has stopped 765 criminals.

Of those who had sought permission, 189 were child sex offenders, billed as the most serious Category One.

But an analysis of the Working With Children Check process reveals 689 Category Two offenders - who include stalkers, kidnappers and drug traffickers to kids - were cleared.

The paper says it is understood the government is looking at ways to tighten the Working With Children Check, which costs $15 million a year to administer.


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