Parents worry about sex offenders in western Massachusetts as Halloween nears

There are 24 registered sex offenders living in Northampton, and 14 in Amherst

(Google Maps)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Halloween is just days away, which means, thousands of kids will be out “trick or treating.”

There are nearly 1,000 registered sex offenders living in Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, but the state has lost track of more than 1,500 others.

Halloween is an exciting time for kids. They get to dress us in costumes and go trick-or-treating, but certain dangers could await them behind some of those doors.

Alison Bent of Northampton told 22News she braces her children for the danger that comes with trick or treating.

“I talk to my children about safety in general and they are aware that are sexual predators in the area,” said Bent. “There are drugs in the area and I try to teach them on a regular basis to protect themselves. So, on Halloween, it’s fun, it’s also the same as any other night.”

Search your neighborhood on our map of sex offenders below.

The 22News I-Team discovered there are nearly 1,800 sex offenders that have fallen off the grid, which means the state has no idea where they are or where they live.

North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas, have passed “No Candy” laws that prohibit registered sex offenders from passing out candy on Halloween. There’s no such rule in Massachusetts.

Their probation officers to personally to go door-to-door to remind them on Halloween that they have to have their lights off, that they’re not to hand out candy.

22News discovered there are 24 registered sex offenders living in Northampton, and 14 in Amherst.

“It’s pretty much the same thing,” Jeff Morse told 22News. “You might go to neighborhood where you know the people or there’s a big crowd, so it’s a big event. Don’t let them wonder around in groups of little kids, thinking everybody’s safe, you need to be there.”

Can’t see the map? Click here to load on your mobile device.