A criminologist has called for parents not to become hysterical after a man who amassed more than 1000 child-pornography files was sentenced to serve home detention near a Mosgiel primary school.
"My broad feeling is that people have to live somewhere, no matter where they're living there's going to be kids around, the issue is how they're managed, not where they're living,'' says University of Canterbury criminology professor Greg Newbold.
Corrections deemed the address unsuitable for Conan George Brownie to serve the electronically monitored 10-month term but Judge John Macdonald yesterday imposed the sentence regardless.
On Wednesday, the 37-year-old had been ordered to serve the sentence at a St Kilda home but before he even got there, the resident withdrew their consent.
Other addresses also proposed by Brownie were deemed unsuitable by Corrections because of their proximity to schools, pre-schools and public parks.
Prof Newbold said the most important thing would be how Brownie was managed, not where he was placed.
"I'm equivocal about it because there's a hell of a lot of panic about child sex offenders being paroled to places where there are children.
''And it's pretty hard to find somewhere that isn't located anywhere near where children might be it at a beach, a playground, a school, a creche, they're everywhere.''
The fact Brownie had amassed child pornography images did not necessarily mean he was going to abuse children, Prof Newbold said.
"If it's managed properly I don't think there'll be a risk.
"The worst thing you can do is become hysterical, the worst thing a parent can do is terrify the kids.''
Prof Newbold said some children were more susceptible to being abused than others.
"A lot of that has to do with parenting, if the child is secure and confident and has as good relationship with their parents there is a very low chance of those kids being lured by an adult sex offender.
"But if the child is insecure and doesn't have a good relationship with their parents then the kid is vulnerable.''
This article was first published on the Otago Daily Times.