What Police and Safety Experts Say About Hudak's Scheme

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Tim Hudak is at it again.  He found a bumper sticker slogan and talking point to clutch to, but there's not much substance there.  Here's what police and safety experts are saying about his latest scheme to put our communities at risk by driving sex offenders underground:

"We don't want these people to go underground as well, and the more public exposure they get—there's been a lot of debate about whether or not the public should have access to the registry. We believe not, because it could create more non-compliance, if you will, where people don't want to be exposed and all of that".

  • Julian Fantino, OPP Commissioner, March 20, 2008, Standing Committee on Public Accounts

"We believe the current protections, which leave the decision on the public release of information up to local police in those circumstances, are the appropriate approach... Some of you know that there is a substantial element in the community out there that lobbies me, and perhaps many of you, on the notion that the sex offender registry should also include public access, not just police access. I have determined and the government has determined that this is perhaps not wise."

  • Hon. Peter Van Loan, Public Safety Canada, October 22, 2009, Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

"It's our responsibility to not only protect society but to create the conditions for all individuals to rehabilitate themselves. Rather than have offenders trying to stay ahead of information on the Internet, I'm satisfied we've found the appropriate balance."

  • Hon. Vic Toews, Public Safety Canada, March 29, 2011, London Free Press

"I don't think the public should have access to that information at all...If that weren't the general thinking, sex offenders would simply not register and say, 'Forget it, I am not going to put my name on a register if the people in my hometown have access to that registry… Public access would be self-defeating to the general public and to law enforcement officers in general."

  • Jim Stephenson, father of Christopher Stephenson, who the law creating the Sex Offender Registry in Ontario is named in honour of, June 7, 2011, Canadian Press

"If I could speak to that, I know a little bit about the U.S. registries. I've met a few colleagues down there. There are certain things that are nice, but they have other things that I think we should stay away from. For instance, from the RCMP's perspective, the public access is a mistake, but they do employ that down there."

  • Inspector Pierre Nezan, RCMP, April 21, 2009, Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security

"Those hyper vigilantes accessing the U.S. registries are doing more harm than good and creating hysteria. It has the reverse effect. It will drive these people underground and we won't know where the offenders are."

  • Staff Sgt. Adam Alderson, OPP, London Free Press, March 28, 2011

"Today, we have a premier sex offender registry in Ontario, with a 97% compliance rate, one of the highest rates of any sex offender registry in all of North America. The OSOR is not accessible to the public, and this contributes to the high offender compliance rate".

  • Superintendent Ron Gentle, OPP, April 14, 2011, Standing Committee on Justice

"We do not see a lot of re-offending. . . they all know they are being watched and that we have a great deal of information on who they are, where they live and who they associate with... the registry seems to be working".

  • Inspector Ron Van Dam, Sarnia Police Services London Free Press, March 15, 2011

"We know that in the U.S. experience, far fewer sex offenders will register because of the public access to the information. In Ontario, for example, the registration rates are relatively high in comparison because the registry is a law enforcement tool only. We support the continuation of that initiative".

  • Steve Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, April 15, 2010, Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affair

Tim Hudak knows his scheme won't make communities any safer.  Yet he clutches to the talking points anyway.  Our community safety is more important than Hudak's cynical game.

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

Ontario Liberal Media Office
416-961-3800 x 328

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