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Government Lets Monsters Be

Government Lets Monsters Be

Recent offending admissions by paedophile Barry Allan Ryder are evidence that the Government is not doing enough to effectively combat this horrendous crime against children, ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Most New Zealanders believe serial sex offenders are required to undertake rehabilitation programmes in prison, to reduce the risk of future offending. Yet answers to my written Parliamentary Questions show that of the 1,135 sex offenders in our prisons, only 98 were involved in rehabilitation programmes." Dr Newman said.

"Only two of New Zealand's prisons have specialised treatment units for child sex offenders - Auckland's Te Piriti and Kia Marama in Christchurch. Yet only 98 of their 345 sex offenders are undergoing treatment. That leaves 790 sex offenders in prisons throughout the country who lack access to these programmes. This is completely unacceptable.

"The Corrections Department says that sex offending inmates are treated with the highest priority for rehabilitation, and that the specialised programmes substantially reduced the risk of child sex offenders reoffending. However, they fail to provide necessary programmes to those who most need them.

"This is simply not good enough. Merely removing an offender from the community for a time does not solve the problem - especially when no effort is made to ensure the individual will not reoffend upon release.

"Psychiatric nurse Neil Pugmire warned authorities in 1993 that, if released, Ryder would re-offend. Despite the warning Ryder was released - only to offend. Ryder is a serial offender, having been committed to Lake Alice Hospital in 1985, then sentenced to nine years' jail after attacking a child in 1994.

"Yet this monster was released on parole in 2001. Special conditions placed upon him have obviously had no impact, as he has admitted to five charges - four involving children.

"If the Government had adequate measures in place to deal with such offenders, Ryder would have not had the opportunity to reoffend. This is an indictment of Labour's inability to fulfil its fundamental duty to protect New Zealanders. Worse, it shows that the Government is completely unable to protect our most valuable resource, our children.

"I am calling on the Minister to make an assurance that all child sex offenders in prison be required to undertake specialised child sex offender rehabilitation programs as a priority. If he cannot, he is guilty of failing to do all he can to reduce the risk of New Zealand children becoming victims of sex offenders like Ryder," Dr Newman said.

Parliamentary Questions are available upon request: please contact Chas Te Runa.

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