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Now is the time for public sex offenders register - SST

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling on the Government once again to hear the cries from its communities and develop a public Sex Offenders Register.

"It’s clear this is what the NZ public want," Nadia Crighton SST Spokesperson for the Prevention of Child Abuse says. "People have a right to know who is living in their communities, near their schools and posing a possible threat to their children."

Crighton is pointing to the recent case of Dean Cooper who was jailed for two years and four months in 2008 for possessing pictures and movies of children being sexually abused. He was also fined $5000 in 1999 for trading child sexual abuse images. The information was made public of his whereabouts and fliers and emails were distributed warning local residence.

"People want to know this information," Crighton says. "The fact that Cooper is living near a school is what is making communities angry. Why this is not against his release conditions is just beyond ridiculous, its no wonder Neighbourhood Watch, and the local school are concerned."

In a post on their Facebook page last week, Wairarapa police said they were aware of fliers and emails about a Masterton resident, but they urged people to treat the information "carefully" and not take any action themselves.

"For a community, it feels as though this man has been ‘snuck’ into their area," Crighton says. "This information needs to be more readily available, and schools should be notified when people such as these are living close by. It is a part of our ‘duty of care’ that should be paramount when dealing with children."

There is also a cry that the database not only contains information about child-sex offenders but to also include those found guilty of serious violent and sexual offending.

"The public model works overseas and there is no reason why it couldn’t and shouldn’t work in NZ," Crighton concludes.

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