NSW to electronically track domestic violence offenders

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NSW to electronically track domestic violence offenders

Victims to be alerted ahead of AVO breach.

The NSW Department of Justice will spend $2.9 million trialling GPS monitoring devices that will track high-risk domestic violence offenders so as to alert authorites and potentially victims if they approach restricted areas like homes and schools.

For the first time, a paired device will also be offered to the victims of domestic violence to give them confidence they will be forewarned if a threat is imminent.

Victims will be given the option of carrying the corresponding device, which will be pinged if an offender ankle bracelet is detected nearby and trigger an alert to corrective services to contact and warn the victim.

The four-year trial will see 60 devices - including both offender GPS ankle bracelets and the optional carried devices for victims - distributed under a $300 million campaign against domestic violence funded in the NSW 2016-17 budget.

"NSW is taking strong and immediate action to apprehend, monitor and rehabilitate offenders before they cause greater harm," Justice and Police Minister Troy Grant said in a statement.

"The GPS monitoring can apply to sentenced or paroled offenders, but can also be used to monitor compliance with bail conditions in cases where a victim is protected by an ADVO with geographical restrictions."

GPS monitoring has been widely adopted by police and corrective services in Australian states, but has largely been applied only to registered sex offenders whose parole conditions restrict their movements.

The state government will decide whether or not to expand the program at the end of the four-year trial.

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