News reports of children approached by those who later turn out to be registered sexual offenders can be concerning for parents, but there are online resources that families can check out.
By law, sex offenders are required to register with authorities. Even before they do, however, their information appears in the sex offender registry, which is public record, meaning anyone can get information about the sex offenders in any specific area nationwide.
In Manhattan Beach (90266), the Megan's Law website shows a total of 4 sex offenders, 2 of whom have been convicted of "lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age."
In places outside local police departments' jurisdictions, the websites also map the addresses, names and photos of sex offenders.
The registered offenders are marked on the CrimeReports.com map with red triangles. Orange triangles symbolize two sex offenders living at one address. Click on the triangles to see details.
The registries are controversial since they may not contain the latest information if an offender moves or fails to report his or her whereabouts. Some also argue that the reporting of offenders' addresses works against their rehabilitation.
Proponents of the registries say the information is valuable information that helps communities protect themselves and remain vigilant.
--Patch editor Jacob Bourne contributed to this article.
Did you know you had access to information on sex offenders in your neighborhood? Do you worry about sex offenders in your city? Tell us in the comments.