11 Dec 2009

Urgent report wanted on passport alert law

6:25 am on 11 December 2009

Corrections Minister Judith Collins has ordered an urgent report on whether there should be a law change, allowing alerts to be put on criminals' passports.

Her request relates to a repeat sex offender who fled to the Philippines two years ago while he was on extended supervision orders.

David Tranter, 59, had served a four year jail term for assaulting a girl, aged 16, while on parole for indecently assaulting two girls aged 11 and 13.

Ms Collins wants the report within two weeks so no further incidents can occur.

However, the Howard League for Penal Reform says changing the law because of one case would be a knee-jerk reaction.

Peter Williams, QC, says the Corrections Department should instead focus on rehabilitating criminals who have served their sentence.