20 Sep 2015

School concerned about sex offender

5:37 pm on 20 September 2015

The Department of Corrections is defending a decision to release a convicted sex offender into the Upper Hutt community, despite concerns from the principal of a nearby school.

Corrections said it would this week meet with several school principals in the area and police to discuss the release of the man, who they would not name.

The offender had complied with his release conditions and electronic monitoring since his release from prison, Corrections said.

Factors such as proximity to victims and the type of risks the offender presented, were taken into account, a spokesperson said.

But Oxford Crescent School principal Leanne White said it was a not a risk worth taking, given the recent problems in Upper Hutt with child sex offender Daniel Livingstone, who went missing for more than a day after removing his GPS monitoring bracelet.

The school should know who the person is, given the pupils were aged between five and 11, she said.

The privacy of the sex offender was being placed above the protection of her school's children. ,Ms White said.

"I felt they were protecting the interests of that person at the expense of the interests of my students and their parents and caregivers."

Corrections had advised her to teach the police's Keeping Ourselves Safe programme to the children.

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