NC Sex Offender Registry Goes Mobile With New App
North Carolinians now have a new tool to help locate registered sex offenders near homes, schools, parks or any location, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Monday.
Cooper is making available a free NC Sex Offender Registry application for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch developed by the N.C. Department of Justice. The app is available for download via iTunes or at ncdoj.gov.
"Knowing where sex offenders live can help you plan for your and your children's safety," Cooper said. "Families are on the go and we need to make this critical safety information available to them where they are."
The new app allows users to search for registered North Carolina sex offenders by GPS location or street address from wherever they are.
Offenders' home addresses are pinpointed on the app's on-screen map with red markers. Users can search for all offenders within a one, three or five-mile radius and can zoom in on the map.
Offenders' names and addresses are listed below the interactive map. Clicking on an offender's name allows users to view detailed information, including photos and a physical description. An additional click on the offenses button pulls up a list of the offender's crimes requiring registration, including the age of the victim(s).
Users can also sign up to receive email alerts whenever a registered offender moves near their home, local school, day-care center or any other address they choose, or to receive alerts about a particular sex offender.
North Carolinians can also get an alert by telephone when a convicted sex offender moves into their zip code, or to get telephone alerts about a specific offender, through the NC SAVAN system by calling (877) 627-2826.
The app was developed using information submitted by local sheriffs to the NC Sex Offender Registry maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation. The department hopes to make the app available for other platforms in the future.
Like the NC Sex Offender Registry website, the app does not include details on out-of-state crimes committed by offenders registered in North Carolina. Users have to go to that state's sex offender registry to determine the convictions for out-of-state offenses.
North Carolina's Sex Offender Registry includes the photos, names, addresses and conviction information of nearly 14,000 registered sex offenders from across the state. Convicted sex offenders are required by law to register with their local sheriff's office and to update the information that is made available to the public through the registry.
By making the public more aware of the location of registered sex offenders, the new app can also help law enforcement crack down on sex offenders who move without providing a new address as required by law, a news release said. Anyone with information about a convicted sex offender who is not properly registered should notify their local sheriff.
Under North Carolina law, convicted sex offenders must register with the sheriff's office where they live in person and must verify their address every six months. State law requires that most convicted sex offenders register for a minimum of 30 years but are eligible to petition the court to be removed if they meet certain criteria after 10 years.
Failure to register as required is a felony, as is assisting someone in avoiding their duty to register.
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