No one wants a sex offender for a neighbour but the cold hard truth is that if the court does not issue a public protection order, the only option Corrections have left is to house the offender in the community.
Understandably the communities where these offenders are being housed are very unhappy and lobby hard to have them removed. Without a public protection order when a sex offender is removed from one community he has to be put into another. Only with a public protection order can he be housed in a secure community outside a prison well away from families and children after he has finished serving his sentence. Currently, one community assisted by the media party are trying to spin the story that sex offenders are being put into communities that vote labour by a heartless National government.
Speaking to Jessica Mutch on Q+A, Mrs. Collins said that in cases such as one publicised today, where a young mother of three has a sex offender living behind her house in Mangere, Corrections tried to get a Public Protection Order for him, but the High Court felt he did not meet the criteria.
“He does have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week monitors and minders with him. He does have GPS monitoring on him. He is allowed out once a week with his minders and GPS to do shopping and to go back into the house, but unfortunately, he’s served his sentence, he’s on the most intensive form of monitoring that Corrections can get, and they’ve been turned down for a public protection order,” she said.
“So Corrections, I believe, are very much the meat in the sandwich, although I very much feel for families who feel that they’ve got this child-sex offender next door to them.”
Corrections are in a lose-lose situation. If the High Court refuses their application for a public protection order they have to house the sex offender in a community somewhere. No community is going to want a sex offender for a neighbour. If every community lobbies for the sex offender to be removed they can remove them but that just takes the problem to another community. It is an impossible situation. No one wants them yet they have to live somewhere.
I wonder if it is possible to offer the sex offenders housing in the secure community outside the prison by choice? They must get sick of being up rooted time after time when the community finds out about them. Perhaps instead of needing a protection order to force them to live in a secure community it can be presented as a safe place for them where they can voluntarily choose to go? It certainly would be a cheaper option for the taxpayer as well as an arguably safer situation for the sex offender.