Mangere school communities want sex offender out

By Talisa Kupenga

A community is angry it has to petition the removal of a "high risk" sex offender from close proximity to its school grounds. A Jean Batten School spokesperson says it's unfair and wrong for someone with this type of criminal background to be allowed in a school area for the second time in a row and it wants assurances it will not happen again.

The cost to house the high-risk sex offender who was placed near one school only to be moved near another is significantly higher than the cost to house a single prison inmate.

Minister of Corrections and Police Hon. Judith Collins says, “Keeping this person under the strict supervision that he has is about six-times more than it is to keep a person in prison a year it is extremely expensive."."

Corrections say the man has a "very high risk of imminent violent offending" so applied for a Public Protection Order (PPO). This was denied but instead, there is an Extended Supervision Order (ESO) with 21 conditions in place.

Collins told Te Kāea, “We tried to get a Public Protection Order which would have kept the offender just outside the wire in the prison and that was turned down by the high court. So in this particular case, he has the most stringent conditions of anyone."

The offender has been moved to a house around 350m from Jean Batten School. That's around 2km from where he was temporarily placed at Te Kura o Ngā Tapuwae, 10m from school grounds.

"Well one of the problems is is that we have schools all over the country and in this particular case that you're talking about that it's very hard to get people placements in the community where there isn't a school somewhere," says Collins.

Te Kāea asked if a distance restriction from schools would be considered in cases like this, both the Minister and Corrections did not give a definitive response, instead, they said the 21 conditions were some of the "most stringent imposed".