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Time for National Database of Sex Offenders

Time for National Database of Sex Offenders

New Zealand is ready for a national database of sex offenders, ACT MP Deborah Coddington said today.

"It's sad that it always takes a tragedy to move people into accepting that sex offenders must be constantly monitored, " said the author of the Paedophile and Sex Offender Index.

"In 2000 when Kylie Jones was raped and murdered by repeat offender Taffy Hotene there were calls for a national register but nothing happened.

"Now the revelation that despite a record of sexual offending, Jules Mikus was repeatedly allowed to be in close contact with children, show that to protect children and communities we must follow the leads of countries like Britain and Canada."

Miss Coddington, whose updated version of the Paedophile and Sex Offender Index is due for publication late this year, is drafting a Sex Offender Bill which she is hoping will gain enough support to be passed into law.

"I'm taking the best features of Ontario's 2000 `Christophers Law' and the United Kingdom's 1997 Sex Offenders Act, which basically requires convicted sex offenders to register their name, address and fingerprints on a national police database. That is updated every time they change address and the police can use that information to prevent a crime, uphold the law, or protect a community.

"Privacy issues are covered by allowing the offenders access to their own information if requested.

"I'll be canvassing cross-party support for this Bill. I realise the political process means I might not get everything I want, but I'm sure that I'll get support from MPs concerned about protecting families and children from sexual predators," Miss Coddington said.

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