Legal sources have told TheOpinionSite.org that the government is failing in its duty to rehabilitate sex offenders by cutting spending on vital offending behaviour courses, choosing instead to spend taxpayer’s money on misleading policies designed to convince the public that the government is protecting children when in fact it is not really doing so at all.
As a result of lack of courses, sex offenders are not being released when they should be, are not receiving the necessary support when they are eventually released and are unlikely to ever find work due to the fear whipped up by the government in order to achieve short term political gain.
There is also a misleading and damaging emphasis on ‘stranger danger’, again for political reasons, when in reality most child abuse takes place in the home.
Our source has told us that many offending behaviour courses (OBC), seen as critical to the release of most offenders, are being cut due to lack of government funding. Although the Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) has to some extent been protected, there are still nothing like enough SOTP courses to satisfy demand.
Sex offenders are being told that they must undertake SOTP whilst in prison and also in the community if they are to be released. However, the government is content to starve the prison and probation services of the necessary funds, content in the knowledge that no MP will ever utter a single word in support of the rehabilitation of those that have become society’s most reviled criminals.
It seems the Home Secretary, Theresa May believes that a man who goes around permanently crippling pensioners in order to steal from them is ok to be released but someone who has committed any type of sexual offence, sometimes 40 years ago, is not.
A violent criminal is apparently much less likely to be subject to the full force of police and probation supervision than a person who has committed even the most minor sexual offence. Nor will the violent criminal be forced to register with the police in the same way as is required of a sex offender.
Successive governments over the last 25 years, the Blair government in particular, have used sex offenders as a political device to divert public attention from more serious government failures. Governments have also reacted to sex crimes with ‘knee-jerk’ legislation that has increased some sentences from 2 years to life imprisonment.
Bulger, Payne, Soham, Garry Glitter and other cases have encouraged ministers to seize the moment and to make political capital out of tragedy, both by bringing in new, often badly thought out legislation and by ramping up existing sentences and restrictions relating to sex offenders.
Lord Bichard, the author of the report following the Soham Inquiry, admitted in a recent parliamentary debate that many of his recommendations following the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman had been disproportionately implemented for political reasons.
Successive UK administrations have copied the USA and spent millions forcing schools, voluntary organisations, churches and children’s groups to encourage children to see paedophiles around every corner and to cynically terrify parents with ever more frightening thoughts of child abduction, rape and murder.
However, you will never hear any Home Secretary or tabloid editor tell the truth and admit that in reality 95% of all child abuse takes place within the family and is committed by friends or relatives, whilst only a tiny fraction of abuse is perpetrated by strangers. These figures are supported by Britain’s biggest child protection charities and even the government itself.
Meanwhile, the money – your money actually – is continuing to be spent on enforcing the largely useless Sex Offenders Register and MAPPA, paying expensive policemen to visit convicted offenders at home and training just about everyone to seek out abuse by strangers when most of it takes place in a child’s own home.
Private companies too are making a fortune promoting the threat of abuse and, often with taxpayer’s support, running lucrative courses on child protection at £350 per person. Again, it is all directed towards ‘stranger danger’ when in reality that is not the main source of threats to children’s safety.
Much needed money that could be used to successfully rehabilitate sex offenders is also still being wasted on publicity generating campaigns that allegedly protect children in other countries outside the UK. Child protection is of course not a bad thing but in all these cases, there is a substantial profit being made by someone, largely on the back of fear and paranoia.
Other European countries, those that are not paranoid and have not been taken in by the lie put forward by recent British governments, do not have these problems. They still manage to deal with the appalling crime of sexual abuse but not in the hysterical, ignorant and headline-grabbing manner that we do in Britain.
Instead, they concentrate on rehabilitating the offender and, crucially, finding him a job which, as any policeman or probation officer will tell you, is one of the surest ways in which to prevent further offending.
By reintegrating the European sex offender into the community, he is able to pay taxes, contribute to society, live a normal life and avoid reoffending.
His British counterpart on the other hand is segregated from the community for fear of reprisal or worse, has no support, is subject to regulations that in practice prevent him from working and is almost persecuted by the authorities to the point where he can contribute little, if anything, to society, even after his sentence is completed.
TheOpinionSite.org does not condone the actions of sex offenders in any way but we do acknowledge that they exist, mainly within the family and believe that when they are convicted and incarcerated, everything should be done to rehabilitate them.
When they are eventually released, there should always be a job for them (the biggest employer in the country is the government itself after all), they should be supported and in return, the offender should take the opportunity to regain their position as a truly contributing member of society.
It is estimated that apart from the 50,000 sexual offenders currently on the Sex Offenders Register (there were only 3,000 twelve years ago), there are over a million others that have not been prosecuted. What is more, there are many, many more potential sex offenders within the families of Britain that will not be discovered until they have already harmed a child.
It is clear that the manner in which this country deals with the problem has to change. Unfortunately, thanks to misleading information put out by the government and child protection charities, most members of the public are entirely ignorant as to the truth of sex offending in Britain today.
This is hardly surprising when one considers that every recent administration has embarked on the same pointless exercise and disgraceful waste of money, trying desperately to convince everyone that the danger to children lies with strangers when, in reality, the true danger is at the front door.
It is an equally pointless exercise to go along with the tabloids and describe sex offenders as ‘fiends’ and ‘monsters’ when in fact there are now so many sex offences on the Statute Book that almost anyone could find themselves accused of a sex crime at some point, either through ignorance or false accusation.
Instead of looking across the Atlantic for answers and giving in to multi-million pound charities like the NSPCC and zealot-driven, money-making machines like ECPAT, the government should spend a great deal more on rehabilitation and a lot less on the post-release persecution and enforced segregation of those who have been released.
Those who are on licence should of course be supervised but supervised constructively by experienced probation officers with some experience of real life; not by some overgrown schoolgirl who has come straight from university and whose sole intention is to impress their boss by putting the offender back in prison at the first available excuse.
Those who have completed their sentence are by definition free and should be treated as such whilst being given support where it is needed in order to find work, etc.
Finally, there are many in government and law and order who believe that the Sex Offenders Register is a waste of money, counter-productive, ineffective and – in the way in which it is implemented – possibly unlawful.
The register always was – and still is – a political device that keeps people employed (not least through the very dubious and hugely expensive MAPPA system), gives a false sense of security to parents and the public, is by definition a reactive process and as such has yet to be shown to have ever prevented a crime from taking place.
The government, police, prison service, probation service and others seriously need to reconsider the way in which the protection of children from sex offenders is approached.
The American system has failed miserably and has nearly bankrupted some US states; the British system, which attempts to copy the US, is directed towards the wrong people, also costs a fortune and is based on a lie, misinformation and political and monetary profit.
The only people in Britain to benefit from the current emphasis on ‘stranger danger’ are ambitious or indolent MPs, those employed in the massive child protection industry in Britain and over-paid officials who get a lot of money for doing very little other than propping up a failed system that has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.
Sex offenders need rehabilitation perhaps more than any other group of offenders and the government should get on with it. And for those rather silly people who readily swallow the effluent produced by tabloid newspapers and others with vested interests, there is no point either in locking up sex offenders and ‘throwing away the key’.
At the current rate of increase in convictions, if one were to do that we would very quickly end up with a large proportion of the male, working population of the country in jail, living off the taxpayer for years and being unemployable when they came out; there would follow a fall in tax revenue and additional prison and family maintenance costs.
TheOpinionSite.org believes that real rehabilitation of sex offenders really is the answer. We are not Americans and have no need to follow them like sheep. Reform of such a politically sensitive issue may be difficult but it is not impossible. It may be a bitter pill for MPs to swallow but swallow it they must.
To leave things as they are is courting disaster; a disaster that will grow and grow and eventually become unmanageable. All for the sake of spending rather more now and getting people out of prison and into work.
This is also about the difference between justice and revenge.
What exactly is so complicated about any of this? It all seems rather obvious to many people but not, is seems, to those in government who are all apparently terrified of criticism, are generally weak and cowardly and, in many cases, are seemingly too thick and stupid to see the consequences of allowing things to stay as they are.