Grooming Laws Catch Cellphone Pedophiles
Grooming laws catch cellphone paedophiles
Paedophiles sending pre-paid cellphones to children with
the intention of meeting them to develop a sexual relationship
face up to seven years' jail under sexual grooming laws that
came into force in May, says Justice Minister Phil Goff.
Netsafe, a child Internet safety group, yesterday warned parents
that sexual predators may send their children pre-paid cellphones
in order to develop a relationship.
"The new Crimes Amendment Act that I had passed by Parliament earlier
this year extends penalties for sexual abuse against children and
creates penalties to deter such abuse occurring," Mr Goff said.
"Contacting children with the intention of encouraging future sexual
contact – or sexual grooming – is now an offence, punishable by up to
seven years' jail. This means Police now have the ability to act
before any actual sexual offending takes place and another victim is created.
"Sexual grooming laws cover all situations where a predator
establishes contact with a young person through a meeting, a
telephone call or over the Internet with the intention of
gaining the child’s trust or confidence and then meeting the
child for the purpose of sexual activity.
"It doesn’t matter how, or how many times, the prior
communication takes place. Once the predator meets the
child, or travels to meet the child, with the intention
of committing a sexual offence, then a sexual grooming
offence has been committed, whether or not the intended
"New technology such as the Internet and cellphones
have made it easier for predators to groom their intended
victims. Criminalising this activity is part of the response,
but equally important is the education campaigns run by groups
such as NetSafe to ensure that parents and caregivers, as well
as children, are aware of the risks and the steps they can take
to keep safe," Mr Goff said.
Press Release- New Zealand Government (1-7-2005)
Hon Phil Goff Minister of Justice