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Child sex offender register bill passes first reading

Bill to establish child sex offender register passes first reading

A Bill which will enable the establishment of New Zealand’s first child sex offender register has passed its first reading in Parliament says Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.

Under the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill, Police and Corrections will be able to better identify and manage child sex offenders in the community.

Registered child sex offenders will be required to provide a range of up-to-date personal information, which will allow Police and Corrections to assess, monitor and manage any risks to public safety.

Failure to comply with reporting requirements, or providing false and misleading information will be an offence.

“This Bill will allow authorities to be more proactive in the management of these offenders, who currently can disappear into communities at the end of their sentence,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Police and Corrections will be able to keep track of changes in their circumstances, which can often be a trigger for reoffending, so that necessary action can be taken.

“Authorised staff from relevant agencies will be able to share information in the interests of public safety, while also identifying any support that can be provided to offenders to reduce their risk of reoffending.”

Information may be released to a third party where there is a significant threat to the safety of children.

The register is scheduled to be operational by July 2016.


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