A social media page that names and shames sex offenders believed to be living in Nelson may be “damaging” to victims, a counsellor warns.
But Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar says Facebook pages that expose offenders are examples of people taking public safety into their own hands.
“If the government and our legislators aren’t doing it, it looks like people are going to do it themselves,” McVicar said.
A Facebook page containing the details of 24 known sex offenders believed to be living in the Nelson area, was launched on January 26 and already has more than 1000 followers.
It is similar to a Facebook page that listed Christchurch sex offenders earlier this year.
Most of the information seems to be sourced from the Sensible Sentencing Trust website, but there are also links to news articles and offenders’ Facebook pages.
Many of the comments on the page are abusive, with one user saying a known offender needed “a bullet”.
Others have made comments in support of the page. “As parents we have a right to know who to protect our children from,” one woman said.
The page’s creator did not respond to messages from the Nelson Mail.