Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. (RSOL) calls on the media to reevaluate the sensationalized reporting of law-enforcement’s annual Halloween activities that are purportedly intended to keep children safe from registered sex offenders.
Every Halloween, teams of reporters fan out across the nation filming multi-agency task forces as the officers check up on registered sex offenders. Brenda Jones, RSOL’s executive director observed, “These grandstanding tactics utilized by law enforcement do little if anything to protect children, but they are very effective in creating unnecessary fear, especially in parents of young children.” Jones further remarked that fanning the flames regarding virtually non-existent threats is detrimental to public safety because precious law enforcement resources are needlessly diverted away from known and legitimate threats.
Sources confirm that the greatest increased risk to children at Halloween is from pedestrian/automobile accidents.
“According to the Center for Disease Control, children ages 5 to 14 are four times more likely to be killed by a pedestrian/motor-vehicle accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year.” ( http://voice-of-reason.pbworks.com/f/Levenson-2009-Sex%20Crimes%20on%20Halloween.pdf )
“More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle accidents on Halloween 4:00pm and 10:00pm as compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year.” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting)
RSOL suggests increased traffic patrols and bicycle and foot patrols in neighborhoods where there are many trick or treaters would address the actual risks better than unnecessary hype about the threat of sex offenders. Despite all the hype, hysteria, and mass allocation of resources, RSOL has not unearthed a documented case of a child abduction on Halloween by anyone on the registry.
Academic studies support the fact that there is no increased risk of sexual harm to children on Halloween. “There were no significant increases in sex crimes on or around Halloween, and Halloween incidents did not evidence unusual case characteristics. Findings did not vary across years prior to and after these policies became popular.” (http://rsolnm.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=fefc199147272a1ba74438c1f&id=b9713aa867&e=c607fd737b)
RSOL calls upon law enforcement across the nation to show the responsibility and the dedication to protect and serve with which it is entrusted. Turn from the hysteria; refuse to be a part of the hype; do that which will actually better protect children this Halloween.