BY THEREDNOW STAFF
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is promising to get ‘grubs off the streets’ with a bill targeting paedophiles.
Mr Morrison addressed his followers in a video on Facebook about how the proposed bill will help the community.
“The crime of child sex offending is unthinkable and is one of the most despicable and heinous crimes that I think any of us could possibly imagine,” the Prime Minister said in the video.
“There is nothing more important than looking after our children, and especially children who are extremely vulnerable.
“Even at the dying stages, Labor was still opposing mandatory minimum sentencing for these offences.
“We forced them to back down, and I’m glad they did because now children will be safer because we’ll be getting those grubs off the street.”
The proposed legislation would give life sentences to paedophiles who commit federal offences, which can’t be extended to state crimes because each jurisdiction has different rules.
The worst child sex crimes will automatically induce a five to seven year sentence in jail and repeat offenders will be subject to one to four year minimum sentences.
A new piece of law is included in the bill, which makes it an offence to subject a child to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or which causes a child to die.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said 40 percent of people convicted of federal crimes related to child sexual abuse spent no time behind bars in 2019. He added that there are too many occasions of paedophiles being released into the community without any protections.
The Australian Federal Police recently made several arrests across Australia in connection to a large child-exploitation ring. Forty charges have been laid against the nine men, who are accused of filming, photographing and sharing online explicit material.
At least 14 children were removed from harmful situations and the AFP expects to make even more arrests.
Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said their investigation was the ‘most horrific’ child-exploitation ring uncovered in Australia to date.
“Operation Arkstone has shaken some of our most seasoned officers,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said. “A total of 40 charges have been laid, with three of the men facing life imprisonment.
“The victims are getting younger and younger [and] this type of offending is becoming more violent and brazen. It takes a network to break a network and to this end, we want to thank our police partners.”