Thirty-two child-sex offenders granted permission to change their names

Stuff 23 September 2020
Family First Comment: Why? Are the rights of the community to be protected considered in these decisions?

Thirty-two people on the Child Sex Offender Register have been granted permission to change their names by the Police Commissioner in the four years since the register started.

The register was created in October 2016 to improve child safety by having up-to-date information available on known child-sex offenders living in the community that can be used to monitor risk of reoffending.

As at July 1 there were 2862 people on the register.

The Act that created the register allows anyone on it to change their name provided they have been granted approval by the Police Commissioner.

Information provided to Stuff under the Official Information Act reveals that 38 people on the register had requested approval to change their names since it started. Thirty-two had been approved, three declined and three were being assessed.

This is an increase from May last year, at which point just 13 applications had been made, of which 12 had been approved.

Police do not release the names of those on the list.

Before granting approval the commissioner must consider five factors; the safety of the offender and other people, the offender’s rehabilitation or treatment, whether the new name could be used for unlawful purposes, whether the new name change was likely to frustrate the administration of the Act, and whether the new name would be offensive to a victim or the family of a deceased victim.

Neighbour concerned about child sex offender’s imminent release from prison
Stuff 22 September 2020
A convicted paedophile who shunned rehabilitation is set to return to Dunedin.

A sentencing judge described Andrew Lee Gardner’s crimes ”alarming and concerning’’, and noted he was assessed as having an above average risk of sexual offending.

It is understood Gardner, after a brief stint in prison, is set to return to Dunedin.

No-one was at his home, which is near several schools, on Tuesday afternoon.

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