A sex offender with a history of targeting children is behind bars after being spotted recently near a daycare centre and school in Torbay.

John Jacobs, 43, was under court orders to stay away from such places because of his criminal record.

On June 24, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary arrested Jacobs near New Fun Land Daycare in Torbay, which is also close to an elementary school.

Jacobs was charged the next day with vagrancy as well as failing to comply with a prohibition order.

Police say he did not approach anyone at the daycare or school, but was closer than the terms of parole allowed.

After Jacobs was taken into custody, police notified the daycare and parents of children who go there.

In 2009, Jacobs was given a federal sentence for sexually touching a seven-year-old girl, and with breaking another court order to stay away from children.

He also has a history of making obscene phone calls to minors.

At the time of his sentencing, a parole officer said Jacobs was at a high-risk to re-offend.

Const. Steve Curnew said Jacobs has been ordered back to jail, pending a National Parole Board review.

"We want to take out the fear within the community now that there is someone out there that has this criminal history in the past," Curnew said.

Police said if Jacobs is released again, a special committee will decide if the public should be notified.