Sex offenders register by 2014

Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley

Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley hopes to have introduced a sex-offenders register by 2014.

Speaking this weekend on ‘The Nation’, Mrs Tolley said she would be taking the proposal to cabinet next year with a system in place soon after.

The Minister has just returned from a trip to Europe where she took part in discussions around implementing a sex-offenders register.

“I particularly wanted to have a look at how it works in Britain.  What I've found is actually a very strong management system of violent and sex offenders.  What my concern was, what made me have a look at it in New Zealand was the fact that you know I think we have a good regime and I've certainly tightened it up about how we managed our offenders while they're on parole or while they're on supervision.  But at the end of their sentence they disappear off into our communities and we really lose track of them.”

“I've given a heads up to both the Commissioner and to the Corrections chief executive that I want to have a look and do some work on this.  It's a big piece of work because it means we have to look at the whole regime again, but I think it's the right thing to do, because I know there's huge community concern that these people are living out in our communities and we don’t know where they are.”

She said the register would only be accessed by Government departments to keep track of known sex offenders.

”So there are requirements on those offenders almost for the rest of their life that they register that we know where they are, we know when there's any major changes in their life that may trigger more offending. So it is a long term management regime for these really very difficult people who cause considerable grief to members of our community. This keeps track of them, this keeps a management regime in place for as long as you need too.”

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