You know, if you came to Britain from a different planet, you'd imagine that pederasty was pretty much the national sport. There are daily headlines banging on about protecting the children, and it seems that no excess, no fascist awfulness, no amount of egregious ludicrosity
And today, we have yet another initiative to protect the children:
Local authorities around the country are setting up databases to hold records of accusations made about anyone from teachers and doctors to Scout leaders, priests and private tutors.
They are employing staff just to look into the claims - which can be made anonymously - who are required to contact police, social services or the adult's employer and then keep track of the case.
Details of the allegation will be kept on the accused's personnel file until they retire so they can be seen by potential employers, and in a reversal of the basic tenet of English law they will only be deemed innocent if they can prove it.
Now, this is, I suspect, just a rehash of something that already had me reaching for the piano wire, but as I feared at the time, it is spreading like wildfire.
OK, so we've established that protecting the children is a big business (albeit a worthy one.) So, how many children are we protecting? Well, this article was interesting:
The anti-child abuse police organisation said 297 arrests have been made in the last year, three times the number in the organisation's first year. Ceop was set up as a national collaboration between forces in 2006, in a bid to better tackle the complex networks operated by paedophiles online.
Almost one million images of child abuse were processed by Ceop in its second year. Such intelligence gathering led directly to the identification of 18 young victims of abuse.
Over the last 12 months, 131 childen were safeguarded and ten of the UK's highest risk offenders were located via Ceop's "most wanted" website and awareness campaign.
So, they have a dedicated team that does nothing but rope in paedophiles, they've tripled their arrest rate to 300 in 2007. Now, to put that in context, they arrested over 1.4 MILLION people in 2006 for "recordable crimes" and I've no reason to think the number will be lower for 2007. So that is 0.02% of all the arrests in the UK, were arrests for pederasty. And the number of children protected? 131? Out of nearly 12 million? That is about 0.001% of the children out there.
I don't want to encourage people to make pederasty into a lifestyle choice, but aren't reacting entirely disproportionately to this non-existent crisis? SWAT teams and destruction of our civil liberties and historical rights for 0.02% of all crimes? Crimes that affect 0.001% of all children?
Is that really justified or could this be just another great salami-slicing technique from our political overlords?
Update: I haven't even discussed the increased proportion of false arrests that take place under these schemes. More people are arrested ("something is being done") but fewer people are being charged, prosecuted and convicted. Nothing to worry about though, because they're protecting the children
*I might have made this word up.