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New bill could force Corrections to notify schools about sex offenders

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 18 July 2019, 6:42PM
National MP Matt Doocey was behind the bill. (Photo / NZ Herald)

A National MP is outraged schools aren't told if a sex offender is living in their vicinity.

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey is putting a Members' Bill in the ballot today which would require Corrections to notify schools of sex offenders placed in the community.

He says it would mean all schools within five-kilometres of where the offender is set to be living, would be notified before they move in.

"I was appalled to find out recently when two sex offenders, one child sex offender, was placed in my community. There is actually no requirement for Department of Corrections to be informing schools."

Doocey says when he found out they were in his area, he went and told local school leaders.

"The feedback I got from some of the schools was thanks for letting us know. They were disappointed they weren't informed, but some teachers who had come from other areas had experiences of this happening before, so this is very concerning."

He says parents are backing the call.

"In the end, this is about the safety of young children. As a parent myself, I want local schools to be informed when the Department of Corrections is placing sex offenders in the community, and I think parents should expect that."

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokeswoman Jess McVicar says this is something they've been pushing for for years.

"Rehabilitation is important for every offender, and we understand that, but when sex offenders are being released into the community without the community's knowledge, all that is doing is putting the community and the children at risk."



ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Monday Afternoons

12PM - 4PM