Wilmington Becomes Safe Haven For Sex Offenders

WILMINGTON (CBS) — Convicted sex offenders now face severe restrictions on where they can live, which is forcing them to communities like Wilmington.

Detective Diane Webb with the Los Angeles Police Department says it’s because the area is considered a safe haven where offenders can comply with Jessica’s Law, living 2,000 feet away from schools or any other place kids may hang out. With that, though, there’s been a spike in transient offenders.

“Every 30th day they have to register where they are at that point in time,” Webb says. “So if an individual is passing through Los Angeles or is here for the day and it’s that 30th day and they’re due to register that they would register with Los Angeles, though it doesn’t mean they’ll be here tomorrow.”

Detective Webb says of the almost 5,000 registered offenders, almost 600 are homeless and that number will continue to grow since neighboring cities are enforcing strict rules. It’s also a growing problem for families.

“I don’t feel safe if my kids are outside,” one resident told CBS 2’s Rita Garcia.

There are state-funded housing options, but offenders will often have to pay rent, which many aren’t willing to do.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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