Could Canberra’s “sophisticated” community answer the Ferguson question?

I-filed 28 September 2009 23

The mob disquiet [over the residential placement of Dennis Ferguson] in Sydney raises an interesting issue for Canberra: if we are an educated, aware community that can debate and balance issues, what solution would we recommend for government re the Ferguson/housing problem, that looks insoluble.

I’m inclined to agree that focusing on the paedophile next door may be ignoring the fact that most child abuse happens in the home by a non-stranger.

There’s also the issue that Ferguson has served his time -and undoubtedly had a dreadful childhood. Something must have turned him into such a criminal.

What if he were to choose to move to Canberra? What should we do with him, if he were our problem?

[ED – In my experience what slight edge Canberra may lose in bogan ignorance we more than make up for with hysterical shrieking nimby’s, self serving misapplication of the precautionary principal, and borderline shut-ins with no sense of perspective]

If Dennis Ferguson moved into my street

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23 Responses to Could Canberra’s “sophisticated” community answer the Ferguson question?
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ACTing like a Mama ACTing like a Mama 8:57 am 20 Sep 09

I have kids and I frankly would be more concerned at the vigilante behaviour that would occur should he move into my street. While I would never want him to live in close distance to me, at least if I was aware of it, I could explain to my children, and be wary of any unsatisfactory behaviour. He has served his time, right or wrong, the system has declared him rehabilitated. I too, am more worried about the people we don’t know – possibly living in my street, or in my family – the statistics show that’s where the real danger is.

But to expose my kids to homemade bombs, and stake-outs is not something I would comfortable with.

astrojax astrojax 2:43 pm 19 Sep 09

yet hunting down DF seems to be an unsavoury idea to most people. Why is that?

um, because df has ‘been hunted down, caught, tried, sentenced and has served his alloted punishment’ while callous mongrel poisoning lowlife is at large for his or her crime – ‘hunting down’ the former is akin to a lynch mob, is why it is unsavoury… you sort of answer your question, but ambiguously. ; )

busgirl busgirl 7:38 am 19 Sep 09

…interesting how ok many of us are with hunting down the person who poisoned the dogs in Richardson (myself being one of them)…yet hunting down DF seems to be an unsavoury idea to most people. Why is that?

I would never, ever condone or excuse what he has done…he hurt another living creature…however…people of Australia, he has served his time.

Up The Duffy Up The Duffy 12:20 am 19 Sep 09

I Agree, I have young kids!!!!!
“Bleeding hearts. The man raped innocent children. He has shown no remorse whatsoever for his crimes – none. I’m actually glad his life continues to be made a misery. So what if he’s 61 … he can (and probably will) still rape innocent children. I wouldn’t want him in my street – and if you are being really honest (and have kids), neither would you. Chemical castration would make me feel slightly better about it though.”

flynnite flynnite 11:28 pm 18 Sep 09

Be honest, the Government Department who organised his accommodation did not consider the community, schools etc, they just plopped this man in the worst spot and then washed their hands of him…and the community. Till they got caught..

If a child is raped by this man again is the idiot who didn’t consider the risks to the community going to be held accountable??

How do the children he already raped feel about him being back in the community and free to re offend?

The ACT housing dept puts who they want, where they want and never tell the community. In fact I don’t think they consider the community they put problems into at all.
Just give the offenders a new lot of victims to play with. Put a shark in with the gold fish.

VITURE VITURE 11:28 pm 18 Sep 09

I think all rock spiders should have a labotomey, as they will never change

Lillypilly Lillypilly 11:21 pm 18 Sep 09

Exactly! better the devil you know. I’d tell him in no uncertain terms he’s being watched like a hawk and just leave him be.

There’s a big difference between doing things under the blanket of relative anonymity and then having your own personal neighbourhood watch.

Danman Danman 8:50 pm 18 Sep 09

I would think that the unsavory elements in the community that WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT would pose more of a risk than someone who has been/is under strict parole conditions.

See that guy walking down the street, does he deal, is he a pervert, sex offender, middle eastern organised crime element, OMCG ?

If I had kids, and he lived next door, I would be extremely wary, but if he has served his custodial sentence as determined by the law of the land, then who are you to wave your finger.

I would rather know I lived next door to a paedophile than not.

Better the devil you know.

GnT GnT 7:36 pm 18 Sep 09

Of greater concern than Dennis Ferguson is the friendly neighbour who offers to mind your kids after school, or fun Uncle John who loves taking the kids to the pool. At least Ferguson is a known paedophile. As if you would let your kids go anywhere hear him!

I agree that the behaviour of certain ‘concerned citizens’ is abominable, and they should take their concerns to the powers that be and leave Ferguson alone.

deezagood deezagood 7:11 pm 18 Sep 09

Bleeding hearts. The man raped innocent children. He has shown no remorse whatsoever for his crimes – none. I’m actually glad his life continues to be made a misery. So what if he’s 61 … he can (and probably will) still rape innocent children. I wouldn’t want him in my street – and if you are being really honest (and have kids), neither would you. Chemical castration would make me feel slightly better about it though.

Mike Crowther Mike Crowther 4:55 pm 18 Sep 09

Two observations…

” most child abuse happens in the home by a non-stranger..”
True, but Ferguson attacked strangers.

“Ferguson….undoubtedly had a dreadful childhood.” Not necessarily. We are always looking to explain way monsters rather than admit for the most part, they are like ourselves. gay people like their own gender. I like red-heads…paedophiles like children. It’s not complex, it’s just the way they are wired and there is no cure for it any more than there is a cure for any other sexual orientation. The only question is how does society manage it. This is a new problem for us because until the 1970’s, it’s very existence (except in cases where children were killed)was simply denied. All suggestions should be considered.

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 4:26 pm 18 Sep 09

…and by Maude Flanders I meant Helen Lovejoy…

captainwhorebags captainwhorebags 4:22 pm 18 Sep 09

The guy was sentenced to a custodial sentence, not a custodial sentence to be followed up with continued persecution and harassment by the Maude Flanders brigade and eventual banishment to a mining or military town.

If the sentence was inappropriate, then protest through the appropriate channels. Vigilante mobs have no place whatsoever in a supposedly civil society.

jube_V8Fairlane_235kw jube_V8Fairlane_235kw 3:05 pm 18 Sep 09

Mbg said: “I find it hard to believe that any town is mostly adult populated. If someone has a kid do they throw them out?”

No, these are set purpose towns – mining, military, etc. Most of the workers families live in other towns, whilst the workers fly-in fly-out as needed or similar. There are a few kids there (note the word “mostly” in my above post), so as I also pointed out the threat would be low, not non-existent.

astrojax astrojax 1:18 pm 18 Sep 09

Starting with the media for starting this circus. bingo, james.

the media portraying the lynch mob as ‘outraged citizens’ and not decrying their abhorrent behaviour is almost worse than their offence. and fuggod’s sake, the man a) is well chaperoned, b) has paid his penance through his time locked up and c) is almost blind and half deaf, so probably of little danger anyway. re b), why do these ‘concerned citizens’ only seem to picket the residence of these previous offenders and not the legislators to have their justice system more responsive to community sentiments in sentencing offenders? and why don’t the media ever make that point to them?

and ceej, it is ‘a’ before ‘e’ – actually they are conjoined into a diphthong, as in ‘encyclopaedia’. not “peado”. make me wonder what the pea did…

Muttsybignuts Muttsybignuts 12:57 pm 18 Sep 09

jube_V8Fairlane_235kw said :

There are some lovely places in our land of Oz – Woomera, Kalgoorlie, et al. These places are mostly adult populated, so temptation for re-offence would be low plus the less than ideal living conditions might drive home the point that their offences against society are considered the lowest of the low.

I find it hard to believe that any town is mostly adult populated. If someone has a kid do they throw them out?

Anyway, I used to drive back and forth to country NSW ( towards the Riverina) and always used to notice this sign that alluded a a retirement village/nursing home along this dirt road absolutely in the middle of nowhere. Give Fergo the cleaners job and a live in room.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 11:43 am 18 Sep 09

This is a very complex issue.

Firstly – I am a parent. I am bringing my kids up to be appropriately wary by educating them about dangers that people pose within the community.

The local radio station (106) had a ‘talkback’ segment the other day about a 7 year old child who got into trouble at school because they dared to compare the size of the teachers breasts to their mum… the focus of the discussions ended up being based around at what stage do you start to cover yourself up from your kids. The conversation missed the actual reality that the ‘problem’ could have been trivially dealt with by the teacher having a simple chat with the child, saying that ‘we dont make comparisons like that in public’ Instead, it got turned into a major problem.

We live in a world where in the US, kids are getting labelled as being sex criminals because they are sharing photos of genitalia via their mobile phone. Society is doing the easy thing, and involving the police immediately, instead of educating the kids. This means that girls are having a mandatory label as being a sex offenders when they simply shouldn’t. It is simply a matter of time before this kind of stupidity is going to appear in Australia.

I have a couple things for the educated population that read these pages to ponder.

What is the basis of the punitive measures that our legal system provides? Surely, the basis of the system is that if a crime is committed, then an appropriate sentence is handed down by an impartial adjudicator. Not by a mob in the street.

When the sentence is discharged is the offender released, why does the community still work like a lynch mob? If we want lynch mobs, then go get a rope, find a tree, and face the consequences yourself.

Sex crimes are particularly sensitive, as are crimes against children, but – if we don’t have the death penalty, then how can a person who has committed these crimes ‘make amends’ to the community? Seriously, how?

There is uproar about the persons proximity to a school – Surely if the guidelines state a specific distance, and they are placed greater than that distance from a school then that shouldn’t be a problem. My belief is that at the moment the distance is 400m. If that is increased to 2000m, and they live 2001m from the school, would that be a hassle? These people need to live somewhere?

If a drunk driver runs over a child, and serves a custodial sentence, why don’t we have the same level of community outrage when they are discovered by the media? Surely there is a significant likelihood of a drunk driver continuing to be drunk? And just the same likelihood of them deciding to drive.

I believe that our community needs to carefully examine itself. Starting with the media for starting this circus.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 11:09 am 18 Sep 09

A place in Forrest?

“Just tell them Daddy touched you.”
“But you didn’t!”
“I know, but it’s right around the corner from work and an easy stroll to Kingston and Manuka…”

Tooks Tooks 10:52 am 18 Sep 09

Ceej1973 said :

poptop said :

Canberra has and does house “likely to re-offend” sex offenders exiting the custodial system, some of whom make Ferguson look like Santa Claus – we just haven’t had any of them hit the press yet.

The community don’t want them in their street/suburb/city.

The human rights people say we can’t lock them up and throw away the key.

What do you do with them?

Here, here! What Ferguson has done is disgusting and should never be forgoten, but what the public are doing up in Ryde is just as bad.

What the public in Ryde are doing is as bad as kidnapping and molesting three kids? I’d have to disagree with you on that one.

You’re right in saying the community would be shocked if they knew how many sex offenders lived among us. The question has been asked: what do you do with him? He’s served his time, however inappropriate most would consider the sentence, so we can’t lock him up in his house and forget about him.

I have to admit, I’d very quickly become a NIMBY if he was moving into my street.

sepi sepi 10:07 am 18 Sep 09

Force them to live in areas like Forrest with hardly any kids around??

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