Parents and others wanting to do a sex predator search will soon find that the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s website redirects parents and other community members to icrimewatch.net to search for Arizona sex offenders. On icrimewatch.net, in the Offender Search dialog box, you can click on the City tab to look for local convicted sex predators. Just type in the city’s name, then click on Search. A search on the city of Phoenix resulted in a listing of 2,663 sex offenders.
In the Search results list, you can then click on each convict’s name and the next screen will show you that sex offender’s aliases, age, gender, physical description and known address(es). It will also tell you the specific charges the offender was convicted on and in which state.
If you want to narrow down the search results, instead of initially clicking on City tab in the Offender Search dialog box, just click the first tab, In Your Area:
Then enter your home, business, school or other address and click on Search. Then your results will be listed again, and on the results screen, you can then narrow down your desired search radius using the “Radius:” dropdown menu. A search for sex offenders within a 5-mile radius of the Maricopa County Superior Court building at 201 W. Jefferson St. in Phoenix found 1,587 offenders, for example.
According to findlaw.com, 10 states have a “No Candy” law on the books prohibiting registered sex offenders from giving out Halloween candy. Additionally, California and New York have their “Operation Boo” and “Halloween: Zero Tolerance” laws respectively, but Arizona doesn’t have any Halloween-specific sexual predator laws.
Law enforcement officials and researchers caution that the registries can play only a limited role in preventing child sexual abuse and stress that most perpetrators are known to the child.
The U.S. Department of Justice, which oversees the National Sex Offender Public Website, estimates that only about 10 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child.
The Justice Department estimates 60 percent of perpetrators are known to the child but are not family members but rather family friends, babysitters, child-care providers and others, and 30 percent of child victims are abused by family members. Nearly a quarter of the abusers are under the age of 18, the department estimates.