The Federal Government has released a national police database that monitors known and suspected arsonists, just in time for bushfire season.
With the new National Arson Notification Capability, arson warning flags will be added to criminal record information held on the National Police Reference System, which is managed by a national police support agency, CrimTrac.
Anyone who has been convicted or charged with arson-related offences anywhere in Australia will have the flags added in their records.
“Police will be alerted to possible offenders in a particular area and will be able to check the names of people leaving the scene of an arson incident,” home affairs and justice minister, Brendan O’Connor, said in a statement.
“The Capability will capture both new and existing offences — its development involved updating over nine million existing criminal records to include arson warning flags where appropriate."
Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said the database will be expanded by December to include extra search capabilities enabling police to look up any flagged persons of interest by suburb.
“This new capability will arm police with another tool to protect Australian communities from the threat of arsonists,” he said in a statement.
The National Arson Notification Capability is an initiative of the National Forum for the Prevention of Bushfire Arson and funded by the government.