Strict Rules for Sex Offenders on Halloween - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Strict Rules for Sex Offenders on Halloween

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DOVER, Del. - Lots of kids go house to house collecting candy on Halloween night. But some houses they need to stay away from.

In Dover a city ordinance aims to make it very clear which houses those are.

Back in April 2012 the city enacted strict new guidelines for sex offenders on holidays, some specific to Halloween. Those include requiring they post a sign on their houses reading, "no candy or treats at this residence."

"Offenders are limited to turning their lights off after 5 PM - the exterior lights to their house," said Cpl. Mark Hoffman, spokesman for Dover PD. "They're not to have any exterior Halloween decorations outside of their home."

"Definitely they should keep their lights off and not have candy for the protection of the children, especially children going out trick or treating alone," said Nikki Crandle, a mother, who lives in Dover.

According to city police there are more 250 registered sex offenders who live, work or go to school in Dover.

Broadly-speaking for offenders under supervision by Parole and Probation, the state imposes its own Halloween restrictions on high-level offenders and ones who have committed acts against kids. The rules are similar to Dover's. Some are stricter.

Parole officers will be out making visits to offenders Friday night. Last year, they made more than 430 visits. Six offenders were taken into custody. The state does not require a sign like Dover.

"I'm not aware of any cities in Delaware that a similar ordinance. But that's not to say they're not there," said Cpl. Hoffman.

"I think it's a good step, because some kids still go to houses that don't have lights on," Crandle said.

WBOC visited about a dozen homes in Dover listed on the sex offender registry during Friday afternoon. None of them had the required sign up. But they did have until 6 p.m. to put it up.

Dover PD officers patrol and look for violations throughout Halloween night.

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