New Brunswick

Saint John police warn of release of high-risk sex offender from prison

Saint John police have issued a public safety alert about a high-risk offender with a history of sex crimes involving children who has been released from prison and into the community.

Harvey Venus was convicted of sexual interference involving a person under the age of 16

Harvey Venus, 36, who has been deemed a high-risk offender by Correctional Service Canada, is living at a community correction centre in Saint John, say police. (Saint John Police Force)

Saint John police have issued a public safety alert about a high-risk offender with a history of sex crimes involving children who has been released from prison and into the community.

Harvey Venus, 36, has completed a four-year sentence at Dorchester Penitentiary for sexual interference involving a person under the age of 16 in Nova Scotia, according to a news release issued Friday.

He is now living at a community correction centre in Saint John.

"Information available to the police indicates that this individual presents a risk of significant harm to children under the age of 16," the release states, noting Venus has previous convictions for sexual offences involving children under 16 and has been deemed a high-risk offender by Correctional Service Canada.

It is clearly in the public interest to inform members of the community of the release of Harvey Venus.- Saint John Police Force

"The Saint John Police is issuing this public notification following a careful consideration of all related factors, including individual privacy concerns and public safety concerns, in the belief that it is clearly in the public interest to inform members of the community of the release of Harvey Venus," it says.

Police have taken this unusual step of issuing a warning "to enable members of the public to take suitable precautionary measures.

"It is not meant to lead to or condone vigilante actions or other unreasonable conduct toward the offender," it adds.

Venus is described as five-foot-one, 179 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

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