A sex offenders register

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Opposition parties are challenging the need for a sex offenders’ register, saying they often become public and are historically prone to mistakes which can devastate innocent people’s lives.

Police Minister Anne Tolley is considering introducing such a register, and police and the Corrections Department began work on proposals earlier this year after it was revealed a convicted paedophile was working as a teacher.

The register will not be open to the public and will only be viewed by officials with security clearance.

I’m staggered anyone could be against such a register, if it is private.

Labour’s justice spokesman Charles Chauvel said Labour would want to see evidence there was a need for a register.

“It’s all very well to say let’s have a sex offenders’ register for officials but what we need to do is be satisfied it actually served some purpose.”

A register was a “slippery slope”, he said.

“You start with an undertaking it would be a private document used for internal purposes and then in a year or two it’s a full blown public document.”

With that reasoning, the Government should have no private registers of anything at all.

However, Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said it was “fantastic”; the lobby group had been calling for a register for years.

“It protects the public. It is the best tool which encourages offenders to change their ways.”

The Trust already had a sex offenders’ and violent offenders’ database on its website.

“We get phenomenal feedback from the public on those.”

I use both databases often. They are a very good tool. Criminal offending is not a private matter.

UPDATE: A reader emails;

The reason why Labour are opposed to a register is they think the current system is working. But who introduced the current system?

 Yet, if it is working, and the toughest in the world, how did Miki, the offender/teacher who was on an extended supervision order, get away with it for so long?

A very good point.

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