PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government announced plans to make it hard for sex offenders. A law aimed at deterring, punishing and shaming rapists, paedophiles and those others with a propensity to commit sexual crimes became effective on January 31.
In a statement, the Office of the Attorney General said: “For too long the society has seen the rampant commission of sex crimes, including the most savage and brutal attacks against women, children and even the elderly. Statistics demonstrate that sexual crimes are the second-highest, after murder, before the High Courts of Trinidad and Tobago.”
The Office of the AG said that the government stands committed to strike against all forms of criminality and that the administration will continue to “to strategically pilot and operationalize laws in an approach that has never been seen before.”
It said that under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019, for the first time in the history of Trinidad and Tobago, information on sexual offenders can be shown on an online website for the public to access their names, addresses, photographs and offences committed.
“The commissioner of police can also publicize this information for the public to be aware and better protect themselves.
“For the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, law enforcement will now be empowered to better monitor and track offenders who must frequently report to the police station and provide every essential detail about themselves, including their fingerprints and DNA.
“Victims of sexual crimes can seek compensation from the offender if they contract a sexually transmitted infection. The law also emphasizes the protection of children by widening the category of persons who must mandatorily report cases of sexual abuse, failing which an offence is committed.”
The government said prior to the new legislation, “the laws that stood regarding the registration of sex offenders were inadequate, inconsistent and underutilized.
“Between the years 2000–2019, there were a total of 1,693 persons convicted of sexual offences in Trinidad and Tobago yet zero of those persons were registered in a sexual offender’s registry. This government identified this lacuna in the law for immediate reform to seriously address the sentencing, registering and monitoring of sex offenders and also provide a critical tool to law enforcement investigations.”