iPhone app pinpoints sex offenders

“Offender Locator” is the 4th most popular paid application in Apple’s App Store, according to USATODAY. Users can type in their zip code and get a map pinpointing the addresses of the registered sex offenders within five miles of that location. The app also provides the offenders’ names and photos and the crimes for which they were convicted. Users can also request text alerts saying when a registered sex offender moves into their area. The iPhone app costs 99 cents. A BlackBerry version costs $2.99. “Laws in many states limit where convicted sex offenders can live, and … such laws have been criticized as being so restrictive that they force offenders underground,” USATODAY adds. Users might want to note that the app can only provide info on convicted and registered sex offenders and that research shows that the vast majority of child sexual exploiters are people the victims know, so this app shouldn’t provide a false sense of security. But it’s equally important to note that, according to the latest figures available from the National Data Archives on Child Abuse & Neglect, overall child sexual exploitation decreased 51% from 1990 to 2005.

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