National | Child abuse

Government to keep track of convicted child sex offenders

More than $35 million dollars will be used to run a register system which will keep track of convicted child sex offenders in Aotearoa.

However a sexual abuse prevention educator still has some concerns about the move, saying that only a small amount of offenders actually get prosecuted and in turn believes it is better to put more focus on preventative measures.

The Government has come up with its first Child Protection Offender Register because of cases like that of Te Rito Henry Miki, who was charged and sentenced for using fake documentation to obtain employment at many schools, although conditions of his previous charges for indecent assault and assault on a boy, prevented him from working with children.

According to sexual abuse prevention educator, Doctor Kim McGregor, “If we can share information particularly between Government agencies, there is a chance we can stop people like him. However that is a very small percentage.”

Dr Kim McGregor says only about one percent of 100 cases of sexual assault lead to a conviction.

“Somebody doesn't wake up and decide to sexually offend, there is usually a pattern of behaviour that is developed over a period of time,” says Kim McGregor.

The register, which will be held on a secure database, will provide information to a dedicated risk management unit of Police, Corrections staff and psychologists. They will manage the risk posed by convicted child sex offenders so that action can be taken before reoffending takes place.

The Child Protection Offender Register is expected to be operational by 2016.