Three incidents of adult approaching children highlights need for change in law – Naughten

In Families, Local Issues by Denis Naughten

Public must be encouraged to report suspicious activity

“Three recent incidents in Counties Louth and Dublin involving strangers approaching children on both streets and at a playground again highlights the need to change the law on the supervision of sex offenders” claims Denis Naughten TD.

Today’s reports that Gardaí are investigating an incident in Dun leer, Co. Louth where a stranger pulled alongside a playground and called a boy’s name as he played with friends. In another incident in Monasterboice, again in Co. Louth, a man in a van called out to children last Sunday.

Gardaí are also investigating a further case on Lansdowne Road in Dublin on 24th September last where a 10 and 11 year old boy were approached by a stranger driving a black car, which was only reported to Gardaí last week.

“These incidents not only highlight the fact that tighter controls are needed to monitor both convicted sex offenders and those who pose a high risk of assaulting or abducting a child, but also expose serious flaws in the community response to suspicions activity” claims Denis Naughten.

In the case of the Dunleer incident it is clear that the individual in question had done some preparatory work in obtaining details about a particular child. The question is did these inquiries raise suspicions at an earlier stage, that were not acted upon? In the Dublin incident, why did it take 10 days for it to be reported to the Gardaí?

We need to send out a clear message to the public that they should report all suspicions activity and the best way to do this is by encouraging parents to report such activity on the basis of giving the Gardaí the right under certain conditions, to disclose to those parents information regarding a high risk paedophile who has access to their child.”

Denis Naughten has recently published a new law which would, not only close off a number of loop holes regarding the monitoring of sex offenders, but would also create a system which would enable parents to enquire whether persons coming into contact with their child or vulnerable adult have been convicted of a sexual offence or otherwise pose a serious danger.

“Parents and guardians should be encouraged to register a concern with authorities about any individual who has access to their children about whom they are genuinely worried.

Such a law would have the added benefit of encouraging parents to bring such suspicions activity to the attention of the Gardaí, thereby, leading to further supervision of individuals or prosecutions for breaches of sex offenders release conditions” concluded Denis Naughten.