Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Sex Offender’s Register – Minister Wise to Act with Caution

Sex Offender’s Register – Minister Wise to Act with Caution

Date : 4th August 2014


The Minister of Police, Anne Tolley, is wise to act with caution, in limiting the Sex Offender’s Register to child sex offenders, says Rethinking Crime and Punishment spokesperson Kim Workman. He was responding to the news that Ministers had signed off on plans to establish the database.

“The Minister intends to follow the UK model, which has a history we can learn from. It was established in 1997, and over the next ten years, its function changed from being a public protection measure, to becoming punishment in its own right.”

“From the outset, 94% to 97% of eligible sex offenders complied with the requirements of the register, in reporting to the Police, and obeying the conditions. But increasingly, the register was ‘strengthened’ by expanding the range of offences, increasing penalties for non-compliance, and breaching the human rights of convicted sex offenders.”

“At the outset, police cautions were included alongside convictions, as being precursors to registration, even though Police cautions are administered because the crime is minor, and the offender unlikely to do it again. Over the next ten years, the range of offences added to the register included theft, harassment, sending prohibited articles in the post, and burglary with intent to steal.”

“Despite the extremely high rate of compliance, the fine for non-compliance was increased from £1000 to £5000, and the maximum sentence from 1 month to six months. Registrants were required to report in person (rather than as initially required by email or letter), and the time limit for initial registration was reduced from 14 days to 3 days. Sex offenders were ineligible for early release from prison on home detention, and extra powers given to the Police to force entry into a registrant’s home for the purpose of risk assessment.”

“By 2008, there were 30,000 on the register, but no evidence that the register had contributed to public safety. The only tangible benefit, was that it forced closer inter-agency cooperation between the Police and Probation. The function of the register had effectively shifted from the protection of children, to a means of further punishing offenders following their release from prison. If those resources had been shifted into exposing the 90% of child sex offenders who are currently unknown to the Police, it could have resulted in a significant reduction in child sex crime.”

“One of the unfortunate aspects of the register, is that it can promote a false sense of public security – people believe that if people are not on the register, they are safe. The harsh reality is that their child is at greater risk from people they or their family know, rather than some stranger who is on the register.”

“Limiting the register to child sex offenders is a wise move. It should be evaluated carefully over a 2 -3 year period, to establish whether it has been effective in protecting children from sex crime. If there is no evidence for its effectiveness, then it should be abandoned, and the resources transferred into areas of primary prevention.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The National Leadership “Contest”

Key’s endorsement of English has turned this “contest” into a race for second place.

This succession was well planned. Lets not forget that English was told by Key in September of his intention to resign, and English was the only member of Cabinet entrusted with that information before it was sprung on everyone else on Monday morning. More>>

Latest: Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman have withdrawn from the leadership race, leaving Bill English the only candidate to replace John Key as Prime Minister.

 

Education, Marketing, Taxes: Health Groups Call For Actions For Sugary Drinks

The New Zealand Dental Association is launching a new consensus statement on Sugary Drinks endorsed by key health organisations. The actions seek to reduce harm caused by sugary drinks consumption. More>>

ALSO:

More Departures? David Shearer Proposed For UN Peacekeeping Role

Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Security Agencies' Reports: GCSB Wants To Give ISPs More Power To Block Threats

The Government Communications Security Bureau wants to give internet service providers more information and power to block cyber threats which are increasing, its director told the intelligence and security select committee yesterday.. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Charter Schools Misleading Pass Rates

Labour: NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated... In one case a school reported a 93.3 per cent pass rate when the facts show only 6.7 per cent of leavers achieved NCEA level two. More>>

ALSO:

Rebstock Report Resolution: SSC Apologises To Derek Leask And Nigel Fyfe

Following a complaint by Mr Leask, the Ombudsman found that the State Services Commission acted unreasonably in relation to Mr Leask and identified numerous deficiencies in the investigation process and in the publication of the final report and in the criticisms it contained of Mr Leask... More>>

ALSO:

International Rankings: Student Results 'Show More Resourcing Needed'

NZEI: New Zealand had only held relatively steady in international rankings in some areas because the average achievement for several other OECD countries had lowered the OECD average -- not because our student achievement has improved. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Salvation Army Report: Beyond The Prison Gate Report

A new Salvation Army report says changes must be made to how prisoners re-enter society for New Zealanders to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Surprise Exit: Gordon Campbell On The Key Resignation

The resignation of John Key is one thing. The way that Key and his deputy Bill English have screwed the scrum on the leadership succession vote (due on December 12) is something else again. It remains to be seen whether the party caucus – ie, the ambitious likes of Steven Joyce, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and Amy Adams – will simply roll over... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news