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Violent offenders

Crime prevention campaign fails to win backing

Swiss voters will not have the final say on proposals to crack down on dangerous criminals and sex offenders after campaigners failed to collect enough signatures.

The Federal Chancellery said on Tuesday the deadline for two separate initiatives had run out for a committee led by a prominent activist to hand in at least 100,000 signatures needed to force a vote.

Anita Chaaban, the woman behind the initiative conceded defeat last month, quoting financial as well as personal problems within the committee.

The two proposals – to set up a central register of violent and sexual offenders as well as the automatic dismissal of judges and assessors found to have been too lenient with repeat offenders - were launched 18 months ago.

Critics argued the two initiatives violated the independence of the courts and cantonal autonomy over access to information. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said existing legislation was sufficient but had to be applied more strictly.

In 2004 voters approved a proposal launched by Chaaban to incarcerate for life violent criminals and sex offenders considered untreatable.

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