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Backgrounder: National Sex Offender Registry

Proclamation of Bills C-16, S-3 and S-2

Bill C-16 ( Sex Offender Information Registration Act - SOIRA) received Royal Assent on April 1, 2004, and came into force December 15, 2004, thereby mandating offenders convicted of designated sexual crimes and who receive a court order to register with the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).

Bill S-3, an Act to amend the National Defence Act, the Criminal Code, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the Criminal Records Act, was primarily proposed to include Canadian Forces personnel convicted of sexual offences within the military justice system in the National Sex Offender Registry. Bill S-3 became law in 2007.

Bill S-2: An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (short title: Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act) was tabled and read for the first time in the Senate on 17 March 2010. It received Royal Assent on December 15th, 2010.

Bill S-2 addresses a number of concerns with the enforcement and administration of the SOIRA, that have been expressed by the RCMP for a number of years. Chief among the amendments include authority to use the registry to prevent sexual crimes, the inclusion of vehicle information and an ability to register those persons who have been convicted of equivalent sexual offences abroad and enter Canada.

National Sex Offender Registry Database

The cornerstone of the SOIRA is the National Sex Offender Registry database. As part of the National Sex Offender Registry, the database is housed and maintained by the National Police Services Network (NPSN) under the stewardship of the RCMP.

Accredited police agencies in every province and territory are able to access the database either directly or indirectly through their Provincial/Territorial Sex Offender Registration Centre. Police in the various jurisdictions are responsible for inputting the data and the enforcement of the registration provisions. Access to personal information in the database is tightly controlled and used for police investigation purposes and as authorized by law.

Registration Centres and Sites

The Provincial/Territorial Registration Centre is responsible for the administrative aspects of the database (e.g. data entry). In addition to the central provincial or territorial centre, several registration sites are spread throughout the province or territory. Sex offenders are required to report to these sites to register annually where their data is collected.

It is up to local jurisdictions to collect the data that will be entered on the NSOR database. Collection is done by local police who are also responsible for enforcement of the registration provisions.

Employees including both police officers and civilian staff from various Canadian police agencies staff the registration centres.

Ensuring Public Safety

Together the Sex Offender Information Registration Act ( SOIRA ) and resulting registration system represent a vital step in fighting crimes of a sexual nature, protecting vulnerable children and adults, and safeguarding our communities.

The RCMP supports any tool which enhances our ability to provide Canadians with safe homes and safe communities. This tool enhances public safety by assisting the police in the investigation of crimes of a sexual nature and identifying possible suspects known to reside near to an offence site.

An officer is able to instantly obtain a list of sex offenders who are registered and living in the area, if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence of a sexual nature has occurred, or, if necessary to prevent a sexual crime from occurring.

Police personnel are able to conduct a sophisticated search according to an address or part address and the offence of a sex offender, or both. Offence information and registration information can be included, as well as other pertinent identification information such as photos, tattoos and other distinguishing marks.


RCMP Media Relations: (613) 843-5999