A new database has been overhauled to help officials better identify the sex offenders who have committed crimes against children in Nova Scotia.
The overhaul follows a spate of fatal sex crimes that have left more than 1,000 people dead and prompted the province to overhaul its sex offender registry.
The N.S. Bureau of Investigation’s (N.S.) accident database has undergone several upgrades since it was created in 2009.
The database now contains information on about 1,100 offenders.
“We need to know more about these people so we can identify them and put them into care,” said John Tisdale, director of Nova Scotia’s police force.
Nova Scotia has had a long history of sex offender registries.
Sex offenders were initially allowed to register as long as they did not commit serious crimes.
In recent years, the registry has been expanded to include other crimes such as sexual assault and aggravated assault.
Many of those convicted of sex crimes are convicted in the community.
Some are sent to prison while others spend time behind bars or parole.
In addition to the database, there are some new measures in place that will make it easier to track people convicted of serious crimes and other offences.
There are now more than 50 categories of crimes that include sexual assaults, sexual exploitation, and trafficking, according to the provincial crime and offender registry manager.
According to the registry manager, the changes will also make it much easier to identify sex offenders that are in prison.
Anyone who suspects they have a sex offender in their home can call police.
This includes a person who has a history of assault or sexual violence, a victim who is vulnerable or may be a victim of an intimate partner or someone who has been in a relationship with a sex predator for at least three years, said the registry coordinator, Stephanie Riddick.
People who suspect they have been convicted of a sex offence or are at risk of a sexual assault are not able to call police directly.
The Nova Scotia government will work with the police service and other organizations to assist with their efforts to identify and contact people who may be at risk.
For people who suspect someone is a sex attacker or are in danger of a serious crime, they should report the information to a member of the Nova Scotia Sex Offender Program.
The program is a partnership between the Nova Solicitor General’s Office, Nova Scotia police, and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
The provincial crime victim’s assistance program is also in place.
That program provides information on ways to identify, support, and prevent victims of crimes against Nova Scotia children and youth.