The Government’s Sex Offender Register will target child sex offenders, Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley told TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.
"We are looking at anyone who has been sent to prison for an offence against children. So it's quite a small number of people, probably about 300 to 350 of those either come out of prison or come off a community sentence each year''
The Government may look at expanding the register to include other sex offenders at a later date.
It will be managed by the Police and open to agencies like Corrections, Housing and the Ministry of Social Development. It will not be open to the public.
“If I was a parent I would want to know so I understand the community concern but there’s two reasons. First of all to have that one register where everyone is on it. We want all the people who have name suppression and many of them do have name suppression to protect their victims. So we want that list to have everyone so the police in particular but all those other agencies know exactly who is on the register, who has been convicted. And remember people will be on the register for different periods of time depending on their offence. Secondly, there is very good evidence that particularly those high risk offenders will be driven underground. “
Mrs Tolley hopes the register will be introduced by the end of the year.