A resident of an Auckland street where a 69-year-old sex offender has been paroled says he believes the man poses a risk to the community.
The resident, who went by the name of John, said people from at least 10 households on the street were concerned at the man’s proximity to primary schools, daycare centres and a playground.
The man is understood to have committed a number of offences against children.
“He should be put in an area where there’s not children,” John said.
“He’s within less than a kilometre walking distance of two schools and half a dozen daycares.”
Mailboxes on John’s street last week had orange notices deposited in them. The notices had the man’s name and directed people to an internet link with a list of his offences.
John said his wife phoned him as soon as she opened her mailbox and found one of the leaflets.
“She was shocked, and the people I’ve spoken to were completely surprised and shocked by it.
“I got straight on the phone and tried to ring the National MP Sam Lotu-liga, who is the local MP for our area, because he was the former minister for corrections and I wanted to know what the true process was around somebody being released into our street like that.
“I was under the initial impression that he’d just got out of jail and been moved here.”
However Lynette Cave, from Corrections, said the 69-year-old man had been “in the community since 2014”. Cave did not answer a query as to whether the offender had been paroled to that street for that period.
“Determining who, and how many people in the community to inform, is done on a case by case basis
“Finding accommodation for offenders can be challenging,” Cave said.
“Isolating offenders does not necessarily decrease their risk. No address would be approved if we considered that it presented an unmanageable risk to the safety of the community.”
Another source confirmed the offender had some special conditions attached to his parole that were commonly applied to sex offenders, including not associating with persons under the age of 16 years unless an adult over the age of 20, with a knowledge of his offending, was present.
Garth McVicar, of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, said the man’s presence on the street “highlights the folly of the legislation”
McVicar said public safety was paramount and advised people on the street to hold a public meeting to make Police and Corrections aware of resident concerns.
John said the man was living right next door to a green reserve space and thought people in the neighbourhood would be hesitant to take their kids there now.
“Every time I go home I look over at that house.”