back to article Sarah's Law review skewed by handpicked sample

Home Office jubilation over the "success" of its sex offender disclosure scheme may be premature amid yet more evidence of the Home Office twisting research to suit its own agenda. That is the conclusion of sharp-eyed blogger, Hawktalk, who also questioned whether the way the scheme works in practice might create problems for …

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FAIL

so who's first

in asking them about 'insert name of politician of your choice'.. personally i'd go with nick griffin or cameron or osbourne ,, (replace by brown ,clegg , jacui smith, mandleson depending on persuasion).

I mean, if people are asking about em, there must be something up.. You really couldn't make this up could you..

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FAIL

There will be safeguards in place.......

for Police, Politicians and Respected Members of the community.

So what would be a justifiable reason? Hey darling fancy doing it with the lights on...... Stockings and Sussies... maybe a school uniform.

Its all soft evidence and it can all seriously Fuck your life up. Why is it when a politician admits something illegal on camera that's OK.... but our choices in the bedroom can become everybody's business? Easy solution... Search footprints should not be considered evidence.

If I am clean I am clean.

For the record I agree with Sarah's law but the safeguards aren't safeguarding

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Sarah's Law

This one different to the Sarah's Law that rules these forums?

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Happy

The Sarah that rules these forums...

...doesn't use or need "law." Law implies there are rules, a potential process of appeal or the faint hope of the possibility of defence.

Sarah Bee’s word isn't law, it transcends that and it simply *is.* There is no question of your acceptance or lack there of; it has been determined that you like it the way it is.

And we'd not have it any other way!

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What's new?

Labour government in "lying cheating manipulating cocksucker" shock?

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Big Brother

Your Petty Grievances Can Ruin Another's Life

"...In other words - exactly as critics have claimed - it is possible for a sex offender check to be raised on the basis of simple curiosity..."

When a government and it's self-serving police force become so consumed by the need to promulgate a climate of fear around child protection (helped in no small measure by the efforts of the ambulance-chasing child protection industry) this is the natural conclusion. Bad laws make for unfair outcomes. Laws based on knee-jerk tabloidisms are spectacularly disproportionate in their vindictiveness and scope for misappropriation/abuse.

In the UK today every adult, male or female, are now regarded as a threat to children unless they have a CRB telling the police otherwise. This is a fact, enshrined in law. We are all potential child molesters, even if we don't know it ourselves.

When policy and ultimately legislation in this area is championed by a grieving parent and various tabloid newspapers, whilst being greased through Parliament by craven politicians, the outcome can only be a dangerously perverse hybrid of 'justice', more akin to mob-rule.

I see no sign that this government or the next in the UK have any appetite to slow down the paedogeddon, no matter how baseless the increasingly hysterical claims of organizations such as CEOP might actually be. It's simply too mesmerizing, too addictive and far too easy to bandwagon for short-term political popularity. Every MP and every senior policeman seems to have something to say on the (alleged) ever-present 'high-level' dangers of 'predators' in our midst online and off. Huge sums of public money continue to be 'ringfenced' to keep up the fear and maintain the structures promoting this propaganda, despite cuts being countenanced across just about every other Government department in the coming years.

In the end, the paedogeddon is too useful to a great number of people and organizations for it to be allowed to slip off the daily news agenda. And for that reason it's here to stay - whether there is any truth in any of it or not - because none of us will ever get know one way or the other.

Thanks to J.O. for keeping on the pressure on this and other stories related to the present paedohysteria. He's one of very few journalists left with the courage to publicly question the perceived wisdom of this opaque phenomenon.

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How government thinks...

Several errors were highlighted, e.g. Inelegible searches that should not have been allowed, the police process was not thought out too well, etc... However the point of the trial was to identify these issues and to get them fixed. These issues are not show stoppers.

To stop the trial progressing would require something fundamental that cannot be easily fixed. e.g. large numbers of people disclosing the information they were given, multiple people murdered by vigilante attacks and even then, the actuall mechanism would still be a change of political will at the top, rather than the results of the trial itself.

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FAIL

@Michael Shaw

"To stop the trial progressing would require something fundamental that cannot be easily fixed. e.g. large numbers of people disclosing the information they were given, multiple people murdered by vigilante attacks"

But it looks like no-one has looked at if these things happened, so it's a bit flimsy to say that "the system should be rolled out; nothing bad was found", if no-one knows.

Given that a Paediatric _nurse_ was killed in Wales because people didn't know the difference between paedophile and paediatric, it's fair to say that if things leak it might turn out ugly.

I'm not against the idea, just the mis-use of "statistics".

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Grenade

Not a showstopper?

In the scheme of things, none of these problems are showstoppers.

But, consider... imagine I am unemployed and looking for fairly menial fixed-term contract jobs like cleaning a school *after* the children have left. It's a school, kids go to school, check required. And each one, each six month contract... check required. Who knows who else might want to apply for checks. My work adviser? After all, maybe I could be the sort of person who sneaks around sniffing the gym outfits in the locker room... and before you know it, there'll be a dozen recorded searches noted and how long will it take before acceptable jobs would be declined on that alone - I mean, what sort of normal decent non-paedo person would have that many searches recorded?

I don't apply for loans because I disagree with recording a search has been made (surely the results are more important than "somebody looked"?). Likewise I would be wary of applying for the job that required a CRB unless I was damn sure I would become permanent staff.

So, in the grand scale of things, it isn't much of a showstopper. In the personal scale, it can be akin to an atomic bomb...

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Paediatrician/ paedophile

Yvette Cloette was not killed, however her home was attacked and she had to leave see:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/vigilante-mob-attacks-home-of-paediatrician-710864.html

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So it is ...

No big deal then :)

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Simple

Best case scenario would be If nobody was to ever apply for jobs working with children because of the draconian measures brought about by rampant paedo-phear then the whole house of cards would come crashing down.

The vast majority of kids are never going to come into contact with paedophiles nor be molested - and of that minority a high proportion are molested by trusted figures who no-one would ever have run a check on, family members/friends predominantly... or perhaps Catholic priests.

Hand-picking the evidence to reach the conclusions you've already decided you want to reach just weakens the argument that what's being done is necessary and proportionate to the risk.

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Big Brother

Broken by design, and utterly pointless

Pop quiz parentards :

You suspect that someone to whom you may grant access to your cheeldren may pose a risk to them.

Do you :

A ) Phone the Home Office Paedo hotline and have them run a background check, the likely results of which will only come back positive if said potential predator has been caught in the act.

B) TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGE AND NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHEELDREN.

You can see where I have used all capital letters to help you make the right choice.

Given that anyone who has to have access to your brats, everyone from the teacher to the sodding milkman must now be rigorously vetted by the state in any case, this is aimed squarely at individuals, e.g. the bloke who lives down the road and is a bit odd, your friends, etc, etc.

When this was first being mooted, I even heard that one of the main concerns was that women (not men) should be able to check out their new partners. I mean FFS, if there's enough cause for concern for you to reach for the phone in that case you already have your answer.

Disclosure : I am not a parent, so I imagine that those who are will chip in to remind me that my opinion is therefore 'irrelevant', rather than using the correct term, which is 'entirely objective'.

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Personal responsibility in the UK?!

B) TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGE AND NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHEELDREN.

Totally agree. But personal responsibility? This is the UK............. sadly you, me and a few others are in the miniority.

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FAIL

The problems with that theory

1. Most child abuse is *not* "stranger danger". Its carried out by friends and family.

2. Most paedophiles don't look like paedophiles (well, unless they are wearing a cassock).

So, how do you "TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGE AND NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHEELDREN" if you don't know who "they" are?

Well, you can't, can you, and phoning the paedo hotline just to check that every friend and family member that may have access to your kids isn't a raging perv is a non-starter too.

All you can do as a "parentard" is ensure that your kids know of the dangers and what they should do when they are confronted by someone who tries to do something inappropriate, and ensure they understand the sort of things that are inappropriate (Yes, you *can* do this without explicit and lurid details). You ensure you know where they are, when they should be be home. You ensure they know how to contact you at all times. You ensure they know how to get help if they need it (Emergency services, etc).

What you can't do is wrap them up in cotton wool. Kids need to be kids. Being over-protective and stopping them doing things and meeting people because they might meet a perv can cripple their social development, and is child abuse in itself.

As you may have guessed, I *am* a "parentard" and i *will* will "chip in". Not to say your opinion is "irrelevant", but to say it is complete, utter and total bullshit.

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Joke

On the plus side

"This is the UK............. sadly you, me and a few others are in the miniority."

Can't we get some rights with that ?

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Except that ...

"1. Most child abuse is *not* "stranger danger". Its carried out by friends and family."

Upwards of 90% in fact.

.. in your own frothing way you have actually agreed with what I said. Your defence against paedogeddon has been, in fact, to take some fucking responsibility.

Good show.

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Pop quiz twat-tard

I am a 'parentard' and my 18 year old daughter was never molested when she was growing up.

I managed this by taking "SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY" all the time, most of the time as a de-facto single dad.

Something that as a non-parent', by your lights, I assume you are incapable of. Therefore the correct term for you 'opinion' is actually mindless inflammatory twatdrivel.

I thank you

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Taking responsibility responsibly

I refer you to your BOLDs:

***"TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGE AND NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHEELDREN."***

particularly the "NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHEELDREN" bit.

Not let *who* have access to your "cheeldren"(sic)? Who are "they". How do you determine who "they" are?

Those *aren't* rhetorical questions, Steve. You inferred that we "parentards" should take "responsibility" by preventing perverts from gaining access to our kids.

How do you suggest that should be accomplished, Steve?

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Sigh

"Who are "they". How do you determine who "they" are?"

'They' would be the people that parents are supposed to check out with the HO Peado Hotline. My point being that if you feel the doubt, go with your instinct, not the HOPH.

And as for the ones you don't suspect, that was precisely my point. That is why the system is pointless.

"How do you suggest that should be accomplished, Steve?"

I would suggest using the method that you yourself appear to have deployed, as indeed my own dear parents with me so many years ago, viz using common sense, taking the responsibility for yourself and teaching your children to take it also.

We are arguing in agreement here. Well, you are at any rate.

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Eh ?

"I am a 'parentard' and my 18 year old daughter was never molested when she was growing up."

Good, I'm glad.

"I managed this by taking "SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY" all the time, most of the time as a de-facto single dad."

Excellent job, well done. I mean that seriously, BTW.

"Something that as a non-parent', by your lights, I assume you are incapable of. Therefore the correct term for you 'opinion' is actually mindless inflammatory twatdrivel."

So, let me get this right, you did what I have just suggested, took responsibility instead of handing it off to a third party, and yet when I say that, it's twatdrivel ?

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Stop

personal responsibilty

Personal Responsibility is soon to be outlawed as people cannot be trusted to take umm... "Personal Responsibility"

don't you know by now that you should never trust anyone that the government has not explicitly told you that you can trust?

anyway, all these laws ane procedures have very little to do with protecting children.

they exist to protect officials, schools etc.

there is a procedure in place. if you follow the proedure and something goes wrong it is no longer your responsibility or fault. it is the procedures.

"whats that, can we change the procedure?"

"why would we want to do that? it works so well... after all, its no longer your (or my) responsibility now is it?"

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Megaphone

@The Other Steve

He took responsibility and educated his child such that his child could recognise dangers and either remove herself from the situation, and/or report this situation to a qualified adult.

That's a hellofalot different from "don't let these people have access to your children." You never know who "these people" are, in order to limit access! In the end yes, everyone must take responsibility for parenting. This responsibility isn't that of bubble wrapping your child. It's that of educating them so they are capable of surviving the harsh realities of the world on their own. Your rants made it seem as though you believe that “responsibility” lies in detecting the undetectable, knowing the unknowable and then shielding your offspring from it in some heroic display of superhuman forsight.

I think real parents learn that their kids will be bumped and scraped, get into fights and learn of sex drugs and rock & roll all on their own. You job is not to prevent this. It’s to ensure they know how to deal with it when the time comes.

This is why paedogeddon and these ridiculous databases are nothing be the shimmering illusion of safety hidden behind the waving hands of charlatans.

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Nicely put

***"Your rants made it seem as though you believe that “responsibility” lies in detecting the undetectable, knowing the unknowable and then shielding your offspring from it in some heroic display of superhuman forsight."***

Very nicely put, thank you.

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The only way

out of this whole mess is to stop the world and start again from scratch.

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Alert

I say ...

... we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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Bugger

Aliens? please put me out my misery.

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Stop

Would somebody think of the Children

I do that's why I don't need a eCRB/Pedo Check.

But I do think that the ability to check is important... but I don't think it should be counted against the searchee

It's a bit like a credit search if you are careful and search around for the best deal the Banks use that against you. Caution should not penalise anybody.

Smoke without fire my arse.......

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FAIL

Re: I don't need a eCRB/Pedo Check.

"I do think that the ability to check is important... "

So "you don't need a check", but everyone else does?

Why does the word "hypocrisy" come to mind...?

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Anonymous Coward

CRB

Heard an interesting conversation would be interested if it was true.

When the snow was here lots of schools shut because teachers couldn't get in. Once upon a time the LEA/Council would tell teachers just to go to the nearest school but they can't now because CRB check are specific to a school. Just because you are cleared for school X doesn't mean you are clear for school Y. Is this true?

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Flame

What do you think yourself?

Why do you have the right to vote? The mind boggles.

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Yes

A CRB check is valid only for the organisation that requested it (the result goes to them, you only get a copy) and for the stated post listed on the application form.

Your copy is not valid anywhere else, or at any other time. It is effectively merely a receipt.

That's what it says on the back of my last one, anyway.

If the requesting body was the actual school, rather than the LEA, then this is possibly 'stupid but true', since other schools would not have a registered copy of the CRB form.

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OK then

"But I do think that the ability to check is important"

To whom, and under what circumstances ? Seriously, enquiring minds want to know.

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Unhappy

But I do think that the ability to check is important

A new man moves in with my ex-wife and 2 daughters... After most sexual abuse takes place in the family home

Damn sure I wouldn't be happy about it.... I have an emotional attachment there but because we are estranged I am not allowed an question her choices

I want to ring up and ask 'Is this guy all right?'

I want a Yes so then I go off call my ex-wife a bitch but be reasonable assured that he is not Charles Manson

Fathers have rights even when they are no longer married!

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WTF?

'Is this guy all right?'

You move in with a new partner who has a couple of kids.

Since most sexual abuse takes place in the home surely her ex- should be entitled to check and make sure that YOU are not a kiddy fiddler.

Of course if he wanted custody but doesn't think he'll granted it, putting in requests for checks against you *and* her would be a good way of raising suspicion that maybe the kids will not be safe at her place...

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Your right should be

Your right should be to have a relationship and share custody with your kid, so that you know she is well and can SEE and feel she is ok and happy.

Not to have a third party check on your ex partner choices.

The fact that you first think about her choosing a "Charles Manson" to live with means more about your inability to let go than her ability to rebuild her life, besides she picked YOU before right ? So what would that tell about you then ? Shall we check ?

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FAIL

Ha, like this was ever about the Children.

This was never about the children. It was *always* about getting more detailed information on individuals into the hands of Civil servants, who under the normal course of things, couldnt get access to Criminal records.

Hopefully when Labor are finally given the boot (And *please* let them get the boot), this will be another collossal waste of money that is cancelled.

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Stop

TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGE AND NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR CHILDREN.

Remember all those clowns dressed up as Spiderman and superman pissing everybody off by blocking roads.

All they want is some responsibility for their children but because they are no longer married they no longer get a say. If they complain about their ex-wives new man that's just sour grapes.

Just because you are no longer married doesn't mean you no longer love you kids.

And all you self-righteous pricks banging on about rights... lets just hope you never find out what having no rights is about.

And for those that say this would never happen: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/7478084.stm

it does

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ID cards!

Lets just create a special issue pedophile card (maybe with a red backing). That way when you want to know if your child should be going round to football practice you can ask to see the coaches pass. Hmn but he might not carry it with him, maybe we could just tattoo it onto thier foreheads Judge Dredd style

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Seperate issues

"All they want is some responsibility for their children but because they are no longer married they no longer get a say."

That is a completely separate issue from whether you should be able to do a background check on anyone you don't like the look of.

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Big Brother

@ background check on anyone you don't like the look of

It is not a background check on anyone you don't like the look of...

To request a background check under Sarah's Law you MUST have a justifiable reason. This justifiable reason includes an individual that has 'locus parenti' access to your children (i.e. shacked up with your ex-wife in your family home).

So back to my original point.... A Parent or absent Parent or Grand Parent/Carer should have the ability to check an individuals background where they have locus parenti access to your children.

This is sometimes the only way an Absent Parent has of taking responsibility for their children. If they don’t live in the family home how else can they screen the individuals coming in contact with their children?

What I don't agree with is that this search should be taken as an indication of guilt as is the case with 'Soft Evidence'

It is a pity that we need these schemes but due to our societies inability to stomach 'beating these offenders to death with a brick' we need the right to check who is coming in locus parenti contact our loved ones in a family environment.

And of course there are those that say this would never happen…. But I seem to remember recently a Pedo was found living with somebody else’s family in Yorkshire. And yes the worst-case scenarios did happen. A very senor policeman went on TV to apologise for they’re over sight in not monitoring a convicted sex offender on the sex offender’s register and allowing him to move in with somebody’s family.

Big Brother.... Because sometimes we need Big Brother to watch certain individuals

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Headmaster

@BristolBachelor

She was a doctor, not a nurse. She wasn't killed. Her home was vandalised.

Icon because there's not one for pedantic fact nazi alert.

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Anonymous Coward

Confused

Reading the above, it seems there are two things suggested:

1. To do anything that may have anything to do with kids requires you to be checked.

2. If a check is registered against you, it looks suspicious, so you might not get the permission to have anything to do with kids.

Doesn't this mean that there'll be no teachers / doctors / policepersons / etc... soon?

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The missing statistics

Various percentages of this, that and the other in the article. Probably a few more in the original report.

But how many cases can anyone point to where this law has caught someone who had otherwise slipped through the net?

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FAIL

How can a check catch someone who has "slipped through the net"?

It can't of course, that's why Vanessa George in that Nursery in Devon was able to carry on with her activities despite all the Government required checks...

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FAIL

The Sad Decline of Expert Judgement

These researchers are well-regarded in the criminal justice arena - experts in risk assessment & management, etc. It's very disappointing that they've put their names to such an uncritical, unthinking report. The government must be very pleased with their obedience.

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