Sex offender management

The National Sex Offender Registry

The National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) is a national registration system for sex offenders convicted of designated sex offences and ordered by the courts to report annually to police.

The registry helps police prevent and investigate crimes of a sexual nature by providing:

  • up-to-date information relating to convicted sex offenders
  • an instant list of sex offenders who are registered and living within a particular geographic area

The High-Risk Child Sex Offender Program deals with identifying and monitoring high-risk child sex offenders and investigations on transnational child sex offenders.

National Sex Offender Registry Database

The National Sex Offender Registry Database is the foundation of the NSOR.

The database allows police personnel to conduct sophisticated searches based on information that was collected and registered in the database.

The RCMP handles the administration and maintenance of the database. Police agencies across Canada collect and submit data to the database.

Accessing the database

Only police agencies can access the database through their Provincial/Territorial Sex Offender Registry Centre.

Some international police agencies may be provided with information from the database, but only if this information sharing meets specific criteria outlined in the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA).

Police agencies must use the personal information in the database only for police purposes and as authorized by law. There are criminal penalties for the misuse of the data either by persons authorized to have access to it or by third parties who may obtain the information.

Registration centres

There is one Provincial/Territorial Sex Offender Registration Centre in each province and territory. They are responsible for offender compliance and for the administrative aspect of the database (e.g., data entry).

Offenders have an obligation to report to a designated registration site in the province or territory where they reside. There are more than 700 registration centres across the country. These sites are determined by SOIRA regulations.

Collecting information

The database contains the following information for each offender:

  • legal name and any alias
  • gender
  • date of birth and physical description
  • address of main and secondary residences
  • telephone numbers
  • address of educational institution
  • name and address of volunteer organizations
  • offence information
  • current photograph
  • identifying marks (e.g., tattoos, scars)
  • vehicle information (owned and used regularly)
  • type of employment and address
  • provincial driver's licence
  • passport information

Designated offences

The Criminal Code defines the designated sex offences for which a SOIRA Order may be issued, including:

  • sexual interference
  • invitation to sexual touching
  • sexual exploitation
  • incest
  • bestiality (compelling the commission of, and in presence of or by a child)
  • child pornography (making, possession, distribution)
  • parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
  • exposure
  • sexual assault
  • sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
  • aggravated sexual assault
  • select offences where it can be proven that the offence was committed with the intent to commit an offence of a sexual nature
  • attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offences

Information sharing with Canada Border Services Agency

Under the authority of the SOIRA, the NSOR may share the following information with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):

  • given name, surname and every alias that the offender uses
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • number of every valid driver's licence and passport that the offender holds

Analysts compare the travel information collected from the CBSA with the travel information submitted by the registered sex offender to verify compliance under the legislation.

Reporting requirements for sex offenders

  • Persons convicted of a designated sex offence and issued an Order by the courts are obligated to register within 7 days of conviction and/or release from a custodial institution
  • Offenders must report annually and within 7 days every time they change their:
    • main or secondary address
    • legal name
    • employment
    • volunteer activity
    • driver's licence or passport information
  • There are penalties for failing to comply with a registration Order or for not giving truthful information
  • Registered sex offenders must report any absence from their main or secondary residence of seven days or more
  • Offenders convicted of a child sex offence must notify a registration centre of any international travel of any duration
  • Persons issued with an Order under SOIRA are under obligation for 10 years, 20 years or life, depending on the maximum length of the sentence for the crime
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