Flyers warn of sex abuser

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 28/08/2014

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Vogeltown residents are shocked to learn a sex offender has been released from prison into a house in their neighbourhood.

An anonymous letter dropped in mailboxes in the area yesterday warned of "an awful repeating sex offender" and advised people to keep a close eye on their children.

The Taranaki Daily News understands the man was released to the address two days ago.

The warning letter alleges it took the man only three weeks to sexually attack two young victims when he last offended and that he will attack boys and girls of all ages.

When the Daily News visited the address the man was not home but a police officer and member of community corrections were visiting homes in the vicinity.

Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said police wanted to assure the community they were doing all they could to reduce risk and prevent the man reoffending.

"The important thing is we know who this person is.

"There are bad people in the community and we don't know who they are, that's what I'd be concerned about."

McIntyre discouraged people from taking the situation into their own hands.

He said the dropping of anonymous notes in mailboxes was not helpful.

"Without all the facts it makes things difficult and creates a lot of fear and uncertainty.

"It's fantastic people take an interest in the community's safety, however it would have been nice if they came and spoke to us first so we could tell them what's going on." He said police and the Corrections Department had a lot to consider in situations like these.

"One thing is keeping the community safe and people being able to go about their business without fear of crime but in reality there are people like this who are part of the community that we have to manage.

"They have a right to live there as well."

He said police would be visiting the man regularly to make sure he had no opportunity to reoffend.

An immediate neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said she was disturbed a sex offender had been allowed to move in next door.

"I have two girls but I know his preference is anything."

She said it was ridiculous they had to worry about a convicted sex offender in their street.

"Why would Corrections place someone so close to families?

"He could do anything."

Neighbour Averyl Maxwell said she had no problem living next to someone recently out of prison if they did not have a history of sex offending with minors.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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