Parents Track Sex Offender Homes for Halloween

But critics warn that friends, family members are responsible for most kid assaults
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 12, 2009 2:13 AM CDT
What danger lurks on Halloween night?   (©Tech109)
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(Newser) – Parents are preparing for their kids' trick or treating this year with a costume, candy bag—and a map of all the sex offenders in the neighborhood. Concerned families are turning to an iPhone application locating sex offender addresses to plan routes on the spooky night. "With Halloween, I'm able to see if anybody on the list is located near me,” a New Jersey mom told the Times of London.

The Offender Locator application has been downloaded a million times since it became available in June. Some 700,000 sex offenders have registered across the US. Halloween is a "prime time for sexual predators," said an official with the company that created the software. But critics of the application warn that much of the data may be out of date, and that most sex attacks on children are committed by family members and friends, not strangers.