Police chief calls for focus on high risk child sex offenders.
Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said police were struggling to cope with the huge numbers of criminals looking at indecent images of children online and should focus their resources on high-risk offenders.
In an interview with the Times, Bailey, who is the chief constable of Norfolk, said: “Let’s be really clear: somebody going online and using their credit card to direct the abuse of a child in the Philippines should be locked up, categorically".
“That individual who is not in contact with children and doesn’t pose a threat to children and is looking at low-level images … when you look at everything else that’s going on, and the threat that’s posed of contact abuse to children, we have to look at doing something different with those individuals".
Bailey argued that those viewing images could be dealt with using conditional cautions, such as requiring them to attend a rehabilitation course, be on the sex offender register and have no contact with children. British MP Yvette Cooper expressed alarm that so-called "low-level" offenders would not be prevented from abusing children if only certain individuals were targeted.
The Save Sweetie Now campaign maintains it is imperative to protect and prevent children online from becoming victims of abuse. One way is to track and prosecute predators and abusers. Another possibility is to discourage and prevent paedophiles from becoming a criminal based on the premise that "You cannot change what you are but you can change what you do". To this end SSN has commissioned behavioural psychology research into the use of "messages" online to communicate and deter potential offenders from progressing any further and to encourage them to seek help.