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Sex Offenders Register Now

Sex Offenders Register Now

Monday 28 Jul 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Crime & Justice -- Zero Tolerance for Crime

For 10 years, I have called for a national register of sex offenders - first, as a private citizen, then as an elected member of Parliament - in order to protect our children from offenders like Barry Allen Ryder, Jules Mikus, Lloyd McIntosh and Taffy Hotene, ACT New Zealand Associate Justice Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"There had to be a way to keep close watch on such recidivist sexual predators, and to stop them from slipping into different towns under assumed names - to start new cycles of sexual abuse," Miss Coddington said.

"So, when my Sex Offenders Registry Bill was drawn from the Private Members' ballot, I was understandably delighted. There are too many loopholes and gaps, through which sexual predators can slip - only to harm innocent citizens - children, women and men. Even the Family Court has no record of how many sex offenders, or their partners, have been awarded custody of children.

"If passed, my legislation will require convicted offenders to be registered on a centralised database, which police and other agencies can access in order to protect communities and prevent offences from occurring. The information would not be publicly available, but offenders will be able to check that the details about them are correct.

"I have taken the best features of Ontario's 2000 `Christophers Law', and the UK's 1997 Sex Offenders Act, which requires convicted sex offenders to register their name, address and fingerprints on a national police database. It is updated when they change address.

Police use that information to prevent crime and protect the community. We must not allow sex offenders to switch communities and names, unmonitored, to continue offending.

"A June `Dominion Post' poll showed overwhelming public support for informing the public of the release of dangerous paedophiles. Parents are entitled to information that helps them keep their children safe.

If we can't lock the worst of these mongrels up and throw away the key, then we should at least be able to monitor them when released.

"Since my Bill was drawn, I have received measured support from Justice Minister Phil Goff and his Labour colleagues. Mr Goff has indicated support for sending my Bill to Select Committee. This may only be the first step toward saving children's lives, but it is a very important one.

"Politicians cannot continue to patronise sexual abuse victims by making sympathetic noises and doing nothing. I urge politicians from every party to support my Bill, to provide some security and safety for New Zealand families and children," Miss Coddington said.

A copy of the Sex Offender Register Bill can be found at (http://www.act.org.nz/sexoffender) .

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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