Letter: Yarmouth needs local law governing sex offenders

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Please plan to attend the Yarmouth Town Council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at the Log Cabin to gain information, show support, and speak in favor of a proposed ordinance regarding registered sex offenders living near Yarmouth schools and other places where children play.

The proposed “Sex Offender Residency Restriction Ordinance” would create a buffer zone of 750 feet around the perimeters of the schools and certain other places where children are the primary users. If this ordinance is approved, registered sex offenders convicted of Class A, B, or C sex offenses committed against children under the age of 14 (which includes sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact) would not be allowed to move into a buffer zone.

The town currently has a registered sex offender living in close proximity to three Yarmouth schools. This has drawn attention to the fact that our town does not have an ordinance prohibiting registered sex offenders from moving into areas where our children play and go to school. Please join me in letting the Town Council know that you support this proposed ordinance.

Alison Hinson

  • EABeem

    My guess is that there are at least two registered offenders living within 750 feet of a school, that they would be grandfathered and that they pose little or no risk at all to students.

  • Sue

    Why is this person / the City of Yarmouth under the impression that this ordinance is needed? What is the problem that this would solve? How many children have been abused in a school or on a playground by a registered s3x offender – 750 feet or less from his / her front door? Numbers, please.

  • ShellyStow

    I am glad to see common-sense comments on this issue. For those who do attend the meeting, please do 15 minutes worth of research before you go. Please try to find any evidence at all that these types of restrictions have any positive value. I can tell you that you won’t find any, but it will mean more if you search for yourselves. There does not seem to be any problem. Why do you need a law to fix a non-existent problem, one that of itself may well cause problems and even lessen public safety?

  • Thoughtasweak

    Research has shown that residency restrictions do not help prevent reoffense. The rate of reoffense doesn’t decrease when comparing to areas prior to enacting residency restrictions and afterwards. It has however, shown to increase recidivism rates (arrest for any non-sex crime), and higher homelessness rates.

  • truther

    Is it one individual who happens to live close to three separate Yarmouth schools? Or three separate Yarmouth schools that each have one or more individuals living close to them?

    • Sue

      Valid question, but in reality, what difference does it make? The average, non-athletic adult covers 4 feet per second at normal walking speed. Meaning, an average, non-athletic adult can WALK 750 feet in about 3 minutes. Most adults can run, ride a bike or drive an automobile.

      The underlying contention here is that a person, who is already on this registry, would be deterred from walking into a school or park less than 3 minutes walk from his living room, and only that school or park, to abuse a random child in said location, because – and only because – a 3 MINUTE WALK out his front door presents some sort of insurmountable hurdle.

      Seriously. You cannot make this stuff up.

  • I would like to be in front of the Yarmouth council, but not to support residency restrictions. They do not work. About 95% of these types of crimes are committed by someone with no prior record. Your residency restrictions don’t even cover that. If Yarmouth wants to be sued over a poorly designed bad law, then join Alison.