The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

NSPCC v Tatchell: Have we the guts to protect kids?

As someone who has campaigned on this blog for better child protection procedures and for tougher sanctions against abusers, I can categorically state that one of the most important challenges facing policy-makers is how to protect children.

The NSPCC reported earlier this year:

The statistics show there were 20,758 incidents where under-18s were recorded by police as victims of sex crimes … The number of offences recorded against girls was six times higher than the number against boys.

So around 85% of kids who have been recorded as having been molested, according to police, are girls, and 15% are boys; and many of these children are aged 15 and 16. A most disturbing recent trend has been the rising number of women molesting children (for example, Vanessa George and various teachers who abused teenage boys). Worryingly, the likes of Peter Tatchell are campaigning for an age of consent of 14:


I believe the time has come for a calm, rational reassessment of the age at which young people should be lawfully entitled to have sex. We need this debate because the current age of consent of 16 ignores reality.

An age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16. If sex at 14 is consensual, and no one is hurt or complains, is criminalisation in the public interest? Is it in the 14-year-old’s interest? It is fair?


Considering the shocking NSPCC statistics (and we may be in more for bleak news in an early 2010 press release from the charity), and despite the despicable campaigning by people of Tatchell’s ilk, we must protect girls and boys from abuse.

How can we do this? First, the age of consent must be defended; in reality, it should probably be higher; but, at the least, it should not be lowered – to lower it would not only expose more 14- and 15-year-olds to abuse, but would lead to a failure of prosecution against molesters of those children who are slightly younger, i.e. 12- and 13-year-olds.

Second, it is important to move beyond the simplistic view that we should merely ‘tick boxes’ and only stop those on the sex offenders register working with kids, via CRB checks, i.e. those who have been detected. We need a strategy to deal with the undetected, and to protect children from those who are potential abusers.

Third, and as a way of enacting justice as well as providing a deterrent, convicted child molesters should be subject to a whole-life tariff. The current strategy of reintegrating them into the community simply is not working, as demonstrated by the recent Panorama documentary as well as by the appallingly high reoffending rates (and that does not include undetected activity), as well as the disgusting shenanigans of perverts on the Internet.

Does our political class have the guts to tackle this pandemic?


5 December, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment