Tags: sex | predator | signs | florida

Sex Predator Signs Posted in Florida County by Police to Identify Convicts

By    |   Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 03:45 PM

Sexual predators in Bradford County, Florida awoke last week to large red reflective signs outside their homes identifying them for their offenses.

The "public notice" signs read "[name] is a convicted sexual predator and lives at this location."

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The Bradford County Police Department installed the signs outside the homes of 18 registered sexual predators, all of who are convicted rapists and/or child molesters, Vice.com reported.

The signs, which cost $10 each, are part of an effort by local police to make parents aware of potential dangers in the community, said Capt. Brad Smith in an interview with Vice.

"Florida statutes say that we must notify the public of any sex offenders in our jurisdiction," Smith told Vice. "We already do that with Facebook and by going out into the area to notify people when the person first moves in, but we realized there was a possible issue with continued notification. For instance, if somebody moves in after we've gone around notifying people, then they're not aware that there's a predator there."

Smith argued that the overt precaution is also beneficial to the predator.

"In a certain sense, it protects the predator from having people, especially children, approaching their residence without being duly notified," he said.

The signs have been placed in front of homes of people who have been convicted of first-degree or second-degree felonies. Under Florida law, such offenders are deemed "sexual predators."

"Sexual offenders," who have been convicted of crimes such as possession of child pornography and procuring a person under 18 for purposes of prostitution, do not have the signs outside their homes.

"If it prevents one more victim in my community, I've done my job as sheriff," Sheriff Gordon Smith told First Coast News.

When asked if he believed the sign would lead to vigilante acts against sexual predators in the community, Smith told Vice, "No. We don't expect that to happen, and if it does, we will do everything in our power to protect the person's rights."

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Related stories:

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Sexual predators in Bradford County, Florida awoke last week to large red reflective signs outside their homes identifying them for their offenses.
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Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 03:45 PM
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