New restraining order proposed
Thursday 8 Nov 2012 3:28 p.m.
Judith Collins (file)
Victims of serious sexual or violent crimes won't have to put up with their attackers living near them when the government has passed a law that creates a new type of restraining order.
Justice Minister Judith Collins says it will close loopholes in existing legislation.
"Victims can feel intimidated by an offender moving into their local area, near their home or work place," she said on Thursday.
"This was the case in Invercargill recently where a convicted rapist was able to move into a house very near his victim."
Ms Collins is going to use the Harassment Act to impose a range of conditions on offenders, including stopping them from visiting certain locations or contacting their victims.
The orders can apply indefinitely if the court considers that is necessary.
"Currently, protection and restraining orders are only available in situations of active harassment, or if there is a domestic relationship between the offender and the victim," Ms collins said.
"Unfortunately, some victims can find themselves without access to any legal protection. This is not good enough."
She will introduce a bill early next year.