The Sensible Sentencing Trust says an online sex offender registry might have prevented a violent sexual assault that recently happened in Christchurch as well as the perpetrator being immediately identified and saving a large amount of Police time and resources.
The Trust’s ‘Predator Awareness’ Campaign spokesperson Ross Crosby said the Trust had long been lobbying the government to establish an online database for violent and sex offenders. The Trust wants such a register to be available to the public and says this case is further evidence of the need for a publicly available register.
“There is a rapist on the loose and a victim who is traumatised hoping her attacker will be caught and brought to justice. The Police are doing everything they can to catch this guy quickly, and members of the public are no doubt assisting police with their investigations but the problem is with our current system which protects the identity of offenders, and this is yet another example.” Mr Crosby said.
The Trust presently has an online database of its own www.sst.org.nz which lists over five thousand offenders, and believes it is the best way to protect the public from this category of offender.
Critics of the Trust say an online sex offender registry would lead to witch hunts but Mr Crosby has entirely dismissed that suggestion.
“We have been listing offenders for 12 odd years now and there is no evidence that doing so has resulted in witch hunts. We make sure all information is carefully checked before it goes online and we don’t list offenders online unless we have documentation or proof of a conviction. ”
“The paramount purpose of an online register is protecting the public from known felons; we hope the government would also share this desire.”
Assistant Webmaster and Predator Awareness Campaign spokesperson
Sensible Sentencing Trust
mobile 0061 45 1968816