Register for sex offenders awaiting decision from Cabinet

Image: iStock

A proposal for a Sex Offenders Register has been developed by New Zealand Police and the Department of Corrections and is awaiting final approval from Cabinet.

The register would list child sex offenders. 11 existing cases have been identified where convicted child sex offenders are in areas or situations close to children. The register would include anyone who has exited prison for a sexual offence against a child, estimated to be about 300 to 350 people each year. The register would contain the offenders' name and location, risk level (through regular evaluations) and likelihood of reoffending. Offenders would be required to update their details with Police regularly, or face time in prison. Offenders would remain on the register for a period of time, or for life, depending on their crime and sentence.

While the register aims to be as broad as possible, including those with name suppression, offenders currently being managed by Corrections under Extensive Supervision Orders or Public Protection Orders would not be included. The register would be available to Police, Corrections and relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development but not the public.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust called for the register to be made public. However Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said the register will be kept confidential to be able to include those with name suppression and to avoid high-risk offenders from being driven underground.

Tolley also said the Police would be able to use the register to warn people on their choice of partners.

The government first indicated it would look at developing a register in April 2012. Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley hopes the register will be introduced by the end of 2014. The government may look at expanding the register to include other sex offenders at a later date.

Media:

Cabinet will decide on sex offenders' register, Stuff, 28.04.2014

Sex offender leakers should be jailed - prison reformer, Radio New Zealand, 28.04.2014

Sex offender register will need iron-clad security - experts, NZ Herald, 27.04.2014

Child sex offender register proposed, NZ City, 27.04.2014

Sex Offender Register will target child abusers - Minister, Voxy, 27.04.2014

Sunday: Naming convicted sex offenders, TVNZ, 27.04.2014

Public access to sex offenders register ruled out, Stuff, 27.04.2014

Sex offender register 'very difficult territory', TVNZ Q&A, 27.04.2014