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Support For Additional Security Measures to Protect Children

News Release /

Unisys Research Shows New Zealanders Support Additional Security Measures to Protect Children from Abuse

More than half support automatic checking of photographs and fingerprints of teachers and childcare workers against sex offender lists

New research from Unisys has found broad support across New Zealand for enhanced biometric-based security measures to approve applicants for positions working with children. However, the level of support for specific measures varies depending on the type of biometric used and what sort of police watch list it is matched against.


The national survey was designed to gauge the attitude of New Zealanders toward the automatic checking of fingerprints and photographs of teachers and child care workers against police watch lists.

• 93 percent of New Zealanders surveyed said they support photographs of teachers and childcare workers being automatically compared to a police watch list of convicted sex offenders

• A somewhat smaller majority, 80 percent, said they support fingerprints of those working with children being checked against the same list of sex offenders.


“While the majority of New Zealanders support increased security measures to protect children, it’s clear that support is strongest for checks that used photographs instead of fingerprints,” said John Kendall, Security Program Director, Unisys Asia Pacific.


“When it comes to automatically checking photographs and fingerprints of teachers and child care workers against law enforcement lists of known sex offenders, the clear majority of New Zealanders are in favour,” he said.


But the level of support fell when New Zealanders were asked if they supported screening teachers and childcare worker job applicants against broader lists of convicted criminals.

• 82 percent said they supported checking photographs of teachers and childcare workers against police lists of convicted criminals.

• 69 percent of New Zealanders said that they supported checking fingerprints against law enforcement lists of convicted criminals.


“Initiatives that checked these workers against a specific list of known sex offenders received higher support than those checking against a broader list of convicted criminals,” Mr Kendall said.


The highest level of opposition, reported by 29 percent of New Zealanders surveyed, was against fingerprints checked against a list of all convicted criminals.


“The survey results demonstrate that overall New Zealanders do support additional security screening initiatives to enhance protection of children. Yet the level of support varies slightly depending on the type of biometric identifier used and how broad a police watch list it is matched against,” said Mr Kendall.


“These findings are an important tool for government, law enforcement authorities as well as those entrusted with the care of children, to plan future enhancements to security screening,” said Mr Kendall.


Proposed security measure In favour Against
A photograph from each teacher and childcare worker be automatically compared to a police watch list of convicted sex offenders 93% 6%
A photograph from each teacher and childcare worker be automatically compared to a police watch list of all convicted criminals 82% 17%
A fingerprint from each teacher and childcare worker be automatically compared to a police watch list of convicted sex offenders 80% 18%
A fingerprint from each teacher and childcare worker be automatically compared to a police watch list of all convicted criminals 69% 29%


About the Research

The survey was conducted in New Zealand by market research firm Consumer Link, 4-10 September 2012 using a nationally representative sample of 501 respondents aged 18 years and over. All results have been post-weighted to Statistics New Zealand census data.


About Unisys

Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialise in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilisation of their data centres, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernise their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 22,500 employees, Unisys serves commercial organisations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.


About Unisys Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions through subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan and through distributors or resellers in other countries in the region. For more information visit www.unisys.co.nz. Follow us on www.twitter.com/UnisysAPAC.
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