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

Pre-Caucus Audio:
David Cunliffe And
The Future Of The
Labour Party

David Cunliffe met with the press today after Saturday’s disappointing election result for The Labour Party.

“We are all deeply concerned by the result of our party vote. I want to be clear that I, as leader, am responsible for that result” Cunliffe said. Although he called the results “deeply disappointing” Cunliffe said “the voters are always right”.

He felt that Labour needed to make improvements and take action: “We don’t need months to get feedback from members of the public, we've had a lot over the past 48 hours”. More>>

Update: After a seven hour caucus meeting David Cunliffe has announced Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as new party whips and said the Labour council will hold an independent review into the election result. He did not comment on any leadership vote.

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news