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The Government needs to explain how it allowed a GPS blindspot that stopped residents at a child sex offender village from being tracked, National’s Corrections spokesperson David Bennett says.

“Residents of Rimutaka Prison's outside-the-wire child sex offender unit can't be GPS tracked due to a communications blindspot. They are among 200 of the country’s most dangerous freed violent criminals who are meant to be under strict supervision orders.

“Up to 11 child sex offenders can be held at this location.

“The unit is only 1.5 kilometres from Hutt International Boys' School, 1.8km from St Brendan's School, and Silverstream School is 2.8km away. There are also over 40 early childhood centres in the area.

“The community should have been informed that this unit was being established. Instead, it was all hush-hush until Corrections was forced to confirm it in August.

“When this centre was announced, Corrections assured the public that all residents would be able to be monitored, including by GPS monitoring.

“But it has become clear that the Government has known about this blind spot for months. Yet it has done nothing. This is unacceptable.

“Corrections claims there is currently ‘no option’ for GPS monitoring. It needs to either find a way to make this happen, or move these highly dangerous offenders to somewhere they can be tracked. It’s astonishing they allowed this site to go ahead knowing the offenders couldn’t be properly monitored.

“National is the party of law and order, and we are committed to making our communities safer and putting victims first.”

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