Sex-offender data goes public, police chief welcomes heightened awareness

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Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) Police Chief Dan Parkinson.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Ontarians have the right to know if a sex offender lives close to their home, and Cornwall police chief Dan Parkinson said he supports any move that increases awareness about the risks those criminals present.

The Supreme Court held up a lower court ruling Thursday that gave citizens the right to know how many sex offenders live within a specific geographic area in Ontario, based on the first three digits of a postal code.

Parkinson said that while such a move might lose its lustre in a small community like Cornwall - which only has a handful of postal code prefixes - he supports the decision in principle.

"I would support the heightened awareness that comes with the risks of a certain individual," he said, adding there are probably in the neighbourhood of about 75 registered sex offenders living in Cornwall.

The Ontario government has suggested that releasing information in its registry would lead to the identification of sex offenders, who could become victims of vigilantism.

But the court ultimately disagreed.

Parkinson said people who "take the law into their own hands" should be warned they are not operating with the consent of police.

"That's never the best way to go," said Parkinson. "(But) it's very real and...(sex offenders) aren't even accepted by criminals, let alone society."

The court said releasing this information doesn't violate the province's privacy laws.

The ruling doesn't give citizens the right to know names, addresses, or other personal information of sex offenders.

"People just need to know we have sex offenders living in our city, and to be vigilant always," said Parkinson.

Organizations: Supreme Court

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario

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  • Steven Yoon
    May 09, 2014 - 07:09

    THIS INFORMATION INCITES FEAR IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE FORMER OFFENDERS LIVE, AND WILL LIKELY PREVENT SOME PEOPLE FROM MOVING THERE, BUT NOTHING ELSE. HERE'S WHY: (1) The sex offender registry has not solved a single crime in a decade-and-a-half http://www.priv.gc.ca/parl/2010/parl_20100415_e.asp The following is Why the registry is ineffective in its intended purpose, which is to assist in solving crimes. (2) former sexual offenders have the lowest rate of recidivism of any offender group. Most never reoffend http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/sx-ffndr-rcdvsm/index-eng.aspx (3) most sex offenses are committed by first-time offenders- those not on any registry and; (4) the vast majority of sexual offenses are committed against someone the offender knows- not against strangers. (5) Making it difficult for ex-offenders to reintegrate into society actually increases recidivIsm rates. In fact. "ex offenders who receive treatment are less likely to re-offend. Offenders who don't receive treatment are likely to re-offend at a rate of 17% compared to 10% for offenders who have received treatment." http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/crrctns/rhblttn-sx-ffndrs-eng.aspx The information about what general area former sex offenders live will do nothing to 'protect society'- better to ask where convicted drug dealers, child beaters, arsonists and convicted terrorists live- all have higher rates of recidivism than sex offenders. IT'S ABOUT TIME THAT WE EXAMINE THE FACTS SO THAT WE CAN CONCENTRATE ON WAYS TO PREVENT OFFENDING RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON LOW-RISK FORMER OFFENDERS. - http://canadiansforajustsociety.webs.com/

  • STEVEN YOON
    May 09, 2014 - 01:33

    THIS INFORMATION INCITES FEAR IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE FORMER OFFENDERS LIVE, AND WILL LIKELY PREVENT SOME PEOPLE FROM MOVING THERE, BUT NOTHING ELSE. HERE'S WHY: (1) The sex offender registry has not solved a single crime in a decade-and-a-half http://www.priv.gc.ca/parl/2010/parl_20100415_e.asp The following is Why the registry is ineffective in its intended purpose, which is to assist in solving crimes. (2) former sexual offenders have the lowest rate of recidivism of any offender group. Most never reoffend http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/sx-ffndr-rcdvsm/index-eng.aspx (3) most sex offenses are committed by first-time offenders- those not on any registry and; (4) the vast majority of sexual offenses are committed against someone the offender knows- not against strangers. (5) Making it difficult for ex-offenders to reintegrate into society actually increases recidivIsm rates. In fact. "ex offenders who receive treatment are less likely to re-offend. Offenders who don't receive treatment are likely to re-offend at a rate of 17% compared to 10% for offenders who have received treatment." http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/crrctns/rhblttn-sx-ffndrs-eng.aspx The information about what general area former sex offenders live will do nothing to 'protect society'- better to ask where convicted drug dealers, child beaters, arsonists and convicted terrorists live- all have higher rates of recidivism than sex offenders. IT'S ABOUT TIME THAT WE EXAMINE THE FACTS SO THAT WE CAN CONCENTRATE ON WAYS TO PREVENT OFFENDING RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON LOW-RISK FORMER OFFENDERS. - http://canadiansforajustsociety.webs.com/

  • Richard Kake "Lancaster"
    April 28, 2014 - 11:08

    I certainly agree that any sexual offender that has been registered on the sexual data base should be known to the immediate neighborhood that he or she has moved into. There is a old saying "A Leopard cannot change its spots" The rights of a child should come before the rights of a perpetrator, it seems in todays society we protect the rights of the criminal more often over the rights of the victim. A victim of a sexual act can never ever forget it and it haunts them for the rest of there lives.