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

 

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:

.


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news