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 Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news