GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICANS FINDING PEDOPHILES IN THEIR BACKYARDS
September 18 2009
Los Angeles, CA – The case of Phillip Garrido and Jaycee Lee Dugard has once again thrust the issue of sex offenders and their lives outside of prison front and centre in
the American discourse. The shocking and redeeming case has startled people not
only with its outcome but also with the possibility that the outcome could have been much different. With parole agencies and sex offender registries now having to answer very hard questions the debate is likely only just getting started.
The uproar over the Dugard case and the handling of it by the people meant to watch over her kidnapper has spawned a dramatic increase of media attention on the parole system, specifically how it pertains to sex offenders. That increased attention has brought to light so-called clusters of pedophiles and other sex offenders with many fearing that predators may be living right next door or in their own backyard. While the former is most certainly true for many people, the latter is also proving to be a more rational fear than anyone ever thought. Reports from around the country indicate that police have been receiving more and more calls of pedophiles lurking in people’s backyards.
“Since the Dugard case broke we have been receiving far more calls about intruders than normal. I’d say we’ve seen a 200-300 per cent increase in the number of calls we have had to respond to since that story broke. In most cases it is meter readers or kids chasing lost balls but there have been a few incidents where we have caught actual sex offenders lurching around in people’s yards,” said a spokesperson for the LAPD. “We want to make sure that people are being vigilant and that they don’t believe they are wasting our time. If you see someone suspicious around your house, please call and we will come to investigate. Our first job is to protect the public and we will continue to do that no matter how many times you call.”
The spokesperson also stated that the percentage of sex offenders compared to false alarms is about fifty-fifty, thought he did admit that was a rough estimate.
“There have been similar reports from all across the United States; sex offenders
lurking in backyards, ready to pounce when the opportunity strikes. This is especially dangerous in places where clusters occur. Such locations result in a lot more pressure and a greater occurrence of incidents simply because one offender leaves a backyard and another takes his place. In less densely populated areas stalking and lurking tends to be a lot more covert,” said Scrape TV Crime analyst Willard Weston. “Its particular risk now with children going back to school. Those nice new clothes and it being readily acceptable behaviour to talk to strangers put the children at a much greater risk than ever before. Many pedophiles are at their peak behaviour at this time of the year as children become more appealing and more susceptible to their advances.”
So-called Pedophile vans have been one of the hottest sellers in the afflicted areas of the country.
"Most law agencies are not drawing a separation between pedophiles and sex offenders who have committed acts against adults. That’s partly because a sex
offender is a sex offender and partly because they realize where the zeitgeist is at the moment. It makes their job a lot more difficult if people aren’t calling as much and a threat against their children ensures that they won’t be thinking twice,” continued Weston. “The best way to ensure that people are being as diligent as law enforcement officials would like is to keep the paranoia level up. It doesn’t hurt that the paranoia has a strong reality behind it considering how many sex offenders are being caught in backyards. This just shows that the technique works. It’s almost scary to think about how many pedophiles were hanging out in people’s backyards before this incident.”
Miami, Florida currently has the highest number of pedophiles lurking in backyards, quickly followed by Akron, Ohio.