The Corrections Department is sourcing cutting-edge satellite technology from the UK in time to keep tabs on serial sex offender the Beast of Blenheim.
Stewart Murray Wilson is to be released from jail on September 1 despite parole board fears he will reoffend immediately, creating a huge headache for Corrections.
Two Corrections staff visited Britain last week to examine global positioning technology (GPS) used to track at-risk offenders out in the community.
Corrections chief executive Ray Smith said the department was ''full on working on it'' to bring the technology here. The monitoring had proved ''pretty effective'' in Britain, he said.
''We are very keen to get this into place as quickly as possible . I expect the [Corrections] minister [Anne Tolley] to be talking a bit more about this in the coming month or so.
''There is no question that it's coming and I think it is going to be a great next step for tracking the people that we are most worried about.''
Wilson, 65, was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for a catalogue of sexual and violent crimes over a 25-year period including rape, stupefaction, indecent assaults, bestiality and wilful ill-treatment of a child.
The Probation Service has applied to the High Court to have Wilson placed under an extended supervision order for more than a decade. The case is due to be heard next month.
If that fails, the government won't need new legislation to roll out GPS tracking. Existing law allows Corrections to monitor the whereabouts of an offender using whatever technology is available at the time.
Tolley said the government was tightening up on supervision orders, and GPS tracking would be part of this.
''For the majority of offenders they work well but for a small number it could be safer to use technology, to know where they are at all times,'' she said. ''We need to remain one step ahead of these people, and GPS tracking should be a great tool for Corrections staff.''
Although she did not want to name specific offenders, she said the tracking would give the public peace of mind.
Plans were underway to build high-security units to house the most dangerous sex offenders, but this election pledge was never intended to deal with Murray. Tolley was also considering establishing a sex-offenders register.
Corrections began a GPS trial in late 2010 but had to abandon it last year because the technology was too cumbersome.
Smith said they need to ensure the devices did not lose range or drop out. He said it had other benefits, such as allowing authorities to keep track of patterns of behaviour.
''When we worry about the higher-risk people, it's the patterns of behaviour rather than what happens on one day and I think to be able to follow that will give us a lot more information.''
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