Electronic monitoring a good idea, Little Warriors Founder says

by Colin Smith

Little Warriors founder Glori Meldrum thinks a Wildrose MLA’s call for increased monitoring of sex offenders makes a lot of sense.

Wildrose Shadow Justice Minister Scott Cyr appealed July 17 for stricter controls after a convicted Edmonton sex offender identified as high risk by police was arrested in close proximity to children.

Seven days before Lyle Blake Larsen was discovered watching children in a downtown wading pool on Canada Day, the courts had allowed him to remove his electronic monitoring bracelet.

The removal was despite the objections of Edmonton police. A police spokesman said they considered Larsen as being high risk for recidivism and were “extremely concerned about his behaviour towards young kids.” He is barred from being near people younger than 16.

Cyr described the case as a breakdown of the justice system.

“There’s no way this individual should be in society without proper monitoring, and it has left many Albertans vulnerable,” he said.

According to Cyr’s press release, Wildrose policy is to expand the use of electronic monitoring of pedophiles and other dangerous offenders while mandating stricter enforcement for conditions of release.

“Keeping Albertans safe from dangerous pedophiles like this on our streets should be the number one priority of government,” Cyr said. “An incident like this cannot happen again and I am hopeful that this case will be reviewed, and we can strengthen our justice system to actually put the safety of Albertans above the comforts of sex offenders.”

The situation is a “no-brainer,” according to Glori Meldrum, founder of Little Warriors, an organization that works for the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse.

“It’s not uncommon for things like this to happen,” she said. “Of course they should be monitored.”

Meldrum stated that sentences for sexual offences often are usually about three to four years, with offenders often released after as little as six months.

“Should people who rape and molest our kids be walking around free on the streets after just a few months?”

While politicians are quick to condemn such incidents, Meldrum said she would like to see them “walk the talk” and get something done about them.

Electronic monitoring creates an electronic fence around pre-selected areas such as playgrounds, schools or swimming pools and alerts police when an individual wearing a monitoring device crosses the threshold.

According to information published in the Edmonton Sun, Larsen was released from Bowden Institution in August 2013 after serving two years and four months of a three and a half year sentence for sexual interference.

Since then he has been in and out of jail for breaching his release conditions.

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