Online sex offences law beefed up

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 08:53 28/05/2013

Relevant offers

Politics

Below the Beltway: The week in politics Jo Moir: The Maori King has nailed his colours to the mast by shunning Labour Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Another minor National bill drawn from ballot amid Opposition complaints Mayoral hopeful Paula Southgate says Hamilton needs a Housing Accord Overhauling New Zealand journalism Businesses on both sides of Easter Sunday trading law coin Cycle bridge plan endorsed by majority of aspiring councillors Opinion maker: Tony Holman QSO on his vision for a better Auckland post local body elections

The low number of people jailed for online sexual offences is ''totally unacceptable'', Justice Minister Judith Collins says, prompting the need for legislation to beef up possible sentences.

Collins will this week introduce the Objectionable Publications and Indecency Legislation Bill into Parliament.

While the legislation would create new offences of grooming children where offenders contact minors inappropriately, it was focused on increasing the punishment for those who were caught out doing what was already illegal.

Agencies such as police, the Department of Internal Affairs and Customs already put ''tremendous'' resources into detecting crimes involving child pornography and would likely increase resources if it was needed, Collins said.

''These actions, apart from grooming of children online, these actions are already contrary to the law, most of this bill is actually about increasing the penalties,'' Collins told Radio New Zealand this morning.

Most than 400 people had been convicted of the offence of having objectionable material between 2004 and 2011, most of which where sexual images of children.

Of these, only 33 per cent were jailed. ''That is totally unacceptable and I think we need to deal with it and this is what this bill is all about,'' Ms Collins said.

''I'm telling the judges that we're changing the law so that they can get tougher and of course they are bound by sentencing guidelines.''

There will be some new offences created in the legislation, including clarification around viewing illegal sexual content without necessarily downloading or saving it.

Collins said this was not aimed at catching people who accidentally accessed illegal images, but ''if you consistently go into that same sort of image, well actually, that's intentional''.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content