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Online tool helps find sex offenders in county

More than half of all sex offenders re-offend, and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office has created a recently updated online tool to locate the 352 registered sex offenders living in the county, Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein has announced.

"One of the most important aspects of personal safety is being aware of your surroundings," Beilein said in a recent news release. "When it comes to sexual predators, it is important to know who they are and where they live so that you can make intelligent decisions regarding your personal safety and the safety of your family."

In addition to the propensity for becoming re-offenders, the sheriff said, statistics show that: 45 percent of sexual assault victims are under age 12; 75 percent of the victims know their attacker; more than half of sexual assaults happen within a mile of the victim's home; and 25 percent of offenders move annually.

The public can access local information, live and updated, about registered sex offenders by going online to the Sheriff's Office Web site at www.ncsd.com. Then click on the link for sex offenders.

At the site you can:

*Search for an offender by name, city or address.

*Obtain details of offenders such as age, description and aliases.

*Conduct a sphere of influence search (a map with all offenders within a 1-mile radius of a given address).

*Receive an e-mail alert if a sex offender moves within your sphere.

*Receive an alert when an offender moves within a 1-mile buffer zone of an address.

You can receive e-mails on more than one address -- such as schools, churches and playgrounds -- and the information sought and supplied by you is highly confidential.

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