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Government Officials Back Down On Bill

Tony Ryall
National Police Spokesman

12 November 2003

Government officials back down on bill

Government officials today admitted that they can only supervise a paedophile 24 hours a day if the offender agrees.

"At today's Law and Order Select Committee, Corrections Department senior staff were forced into an embarrassing backdown on Labour's new paedophile law," says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

"Only a day after it was introduced, officials are calling for changes to the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Bill because it doesn't allow for 24-hour in-person supervision of paedophiles.

"Corrections Department officials told the Committee that the Bill gave them the power to personally supervise serious sex offenders 24 hours a day for up to 10 years. But after questioning from National, the Department admitted it had got it wrong and that the Bill did no such thing.

"Officials said they would seek that power for a small number of offenders they considered high-risk enough to require 24-hour in-person supervision.

"From day one, Phil Goff's Bill is shown to be ineffective," says Mr Ryall. "All it provides for is an electronic bracelet that monitors where an offender is, not who they are with.

"Officials also admitted:

* no one would be monitored for ten years

* "extended supervision" might start with two-weekly home visits by a parole officers, reducing over two years to a three-monthly home visit.

* about 40 to 50 offenders might get electronic bracelets each year.

"Is the Minister saying that a three-monthly visit from a parole officer would keep Barry Allan Ryder on the straight and narrow? Or stop Lloyd Alexander McIntosh committing an assault in his own home?

"Currently, 24-hour in-person supervision can only happen with the consent of the offender - and Phil Goff's Bill does nothing to change that," says Mr Ryall.


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