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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Privacy for Paedophiles? Piss Off!

From today's Herald

A convicted paedophile has been awarded $25,000 damages for invasion of his privacy after police alerted people in his neighbourhood to his presence.

Barry Brown - who has convictions for sexual offences dating back to 1982 - sued police in Wellington District Court for $80,000.

He was identified in 2001 after he was released from a five-year sentence for kidnapping and indecently assaulting a 5-year-old boy.

Police circulated leaflets including his photograph, physical description and information about his criminal past to residents of Strathmore, Wellington.

Mr Brown's lawyer, Dale La Hood, yesterday issued a statement on behalf of his client, who, he said, was pleased with the decision in which his right to privacy was upheld.

This is utter madness. We pay the police and courts to catch and convict offenders. All information gathered in that process should be fully accessible to the public. After all we paid for its collection.

No-one, let alone criminals, have any right to privacy when they are acting in the public domain.

The police were perfectly correct to notify residents of Brown's presence in their area and his predilections.

Brown should be a marked man, until such times as he proves he has conquered his evil side. Why should children be at unnecessary risk, merely to protect the feelings of Brown and his ilk.

In a sane society, Brown's history would be a matter of easily accessible public record and police would be required to notify locals of his presence.


Blogger Libertyscott said...

All information? Including information about other suspects, witnesses, evidence not admitted in court?

Trevor, I presume you support the Police notifying daily the release of prisoners for all crimes - so the public knows when burglars move in, or rapists or people who have committed assault. Sex offences against children are no more "special" than murder, rape or kidnapping generally.

I have no problem with there being publicly available information about convicts, but it is wrong for the Police to track people who are not suspects once they are released. This is not about protecting feelings - it is about recognising that the justice system sentences people and when the sentence is over, that the end of it - except the fact of the sentence is known. If you want to tag convicts after they are released then fine, but make it part of the sentence.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Liberty. Maybe I was too loose, I mean all relevant info on offender. His crimes, patterns, modus operandi etc.

The courts should publish all convictions on an easily accessible website. The police should notify the public, at their discretion of people that could pose a danger to locals. Burglars, rapists, paedophiles of course, even recidivist drunk drivers. Let the police do their duty. As long as the info is correct, no problem.

Completing a jail term is only part of a rehabilitative process. The police should most certainly track released criminals in their area. If this tracking reveals a risk-notify the public.

This could be made part of sentencing but I don't see it as necessary.

11:48 AM  

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