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Sarahs Law

#1
It's a month old story, but my local paper is leading with the news that this is being rolled out in my area. Interested in ARRSE views.

The 'Sarah's Law' paedophile alert scheme is set to be extended across the country.

All parents will be given the right to ask police if anyone with regular unsupervised access to their children has a conviction for child sex offences.

Police could also pass on information about other worrying behaviour such as convictions for domestic violence, and so-called 'soft intelligence' on unproven complaints of abuse.
Link

Although I obviously agree with the sentiments of protecting children, it flags up a couple of immediate reactions in my mind.

- That anyone who is deemed a serious danger to children should be locked away, thus making this void.
- That 'related' convictions may in fact be completely unrelated. I know somebody with a conviction for domestic assault (slapped his missis when he came back from Afghan to find she'd spent all his cash, emptied their house, and moved in with somebody else)
- That the Police shouldn't share so-called 'soft intelligence' (i.e. gossip)

The idea of 'vetting' a potential partner just doesn't seem quite right to me.

Does this also mean that a single unproven accusation will not only destroy your career, but deny you any chance of a lasting relationship too?
 
#2
I agree with you wholeheartedly on your first point DD, anyone posing a serious risk to children should be locked up. That is the only way to protect children.

I can see that there will be problems with this in the same way that there are problems with the CRB check system, particularly when non conviction information, i.e. intelligence, is being relied upon to make a judgement and that information is then shared.

If I fell out with you for whatever reason I could easily make a few anonymous calls to crime stoppers, police child protection units, local social services etc and perhaps send a few letters to your neighbours alleging that you are a kiddy fiddler. With all that information, particularly if I'd named children who you had abused, you are bound be investigated. Depending on how convincing my calls were you may well be arrested and interviewed and your house searched, computer examined and family interviewed. Even when it is realised that there is no evidence to charge you with any offence there will be a record, both on police intelligence systems and social services systems of the allegations. This information may then be available to future employers via CRB and future partners via this scheme.
 
#3
I think the term "regular unsupervised access" is the key here, a single mum or father wont be able to check out someone at first meeting say. Looks like it would only be available if the partner was thinking of moving in. That said, based on this Governments track record it would be used and abused with hysterical single mums wanting every bloke they meet checked out.

EDIT .. Wouldn't the Police passing on soft intel, ie unproven allegations of the "he said/she said" variety leave them open to Slander/Libel Accusations and perhaps cases like everyone else ??
 
#4
I also wonder to what extent this will get used by those who are most vulnerable? My understanding is that many predators are very good at spotting chaotic, 'needy' women - are they going to the type to check out the new boyfriend?

C_C
 
#5
I've always been un-easy with this, finding out who is or isn't a paedo. If (for argument's sake) you found out you had a paedo living right next door to you. Or you were going to move in with one, what are you supposed to do with this knowledge?
Unless you wish to break the law nothing CAN be done. Knowledge is meant to be power i'm not convinced in this case.
 
#6
I'm hostile to this, the scope to smear an individual is far greater than the protection it supposedly gives to children.

Also, given money is tight at the moment I'd rather the money for this scheme be spent on other initiatives promoting safety around activities that carry a far greater risk to kids... road traffic, drugs, etc...
 
#7
I totally agree with sarah's law.

I like to know where these men and women are,at the moment its just easy to find out roughly how many convicted peodofiles are in the area.

Single parents are top of the list as targets but they also target older children as in teenagers to bring younger ones to them.

They are not dirty old men in macs easy to spot,they are often well turned out very nice men/women.I made my children sh1t scared to go to anyones house without me or someone they trusted but I didnt bank on someone I trusted with my children to actually take him to a peodofiles house.

All the police have to do is to drive past the houses of peodofiles to just check no children are hanging around.

On a slighty different note about checking out future partners,I foster my granddaughter so any body that stays in my house on a regular basis would have to be assessed and checked.That includes female friends etc.If they have nothing to hide and have no convivtions against children then there should not be a problem.
 
#8
taboo said:
I totally agree with sarah's law.

I like to know where these men and women are,at the moment its just easy to find out roughly how many convicted peodofiles are in the area.

Single parents are top of the list as targets but they also target older children as in teenagers to bring younger ones to them.

They are not dirty old men in macs easy to spot,they are often well turned out very nice men/women.I made my children sh1t scared to go to anyones house without me or someone they trusted but I didnt bank on someone I trusted with my children to actually take him to a peodofiles house.

All the police have to do is to drive past the houses of peodofiles to just check no children are hanging around.

On a slighty different note about checking out future partners,I foster my granddaughter so any body that stays in my house on a regular basis would have to be assessed and checked.That includes female friends etc.If they have nothing to hide and have no convivtions against children then there should not be a problem.[/quote]

This is a bit hysterical, we'll all end up checking out everybody as you're bound to have some contact with children even if you just live next door to a family with some. People need to get a sense of proportion, this would be a licence for mob 'justice'.
 
#9
Why is it??

I did say anybody who stays on a regular basis and I totally agree with it.

I had to go through it and she is my granddaughter,why should they take my word for it that I have never harmed a child?

All children deserve to be protected not just ones that are under local authority care.I have no choice in the matter but I still agree with it.
 
#10
I don't know the system back home. Here I have to go through regular state and federal checks to keep my Working With Children check. I am 100% in favour of this.

I have no problems supporting a system that thoroughly vets a person who has contact, regular or otherwise with those under 18, in a work, social, educatioal or sport sense. But, and its a big but, most of the youth (over 90%) I work with are the victims of parental/family abuse! Is anyone going to check mum, dad and uncle Harry? I doubt it!

The ultimate irony is youth/children are educated to the enth degree on 'stranger danger', when the danger is far closer to home.
 
#11
taboo said:
Why is it??

I did say anybody who stays on a regular basis and I totally agree with it.

I had to go through it and she is my granddaughter,why should they take my word for it that I have never harmed a child?

All children deserve to be protected not just ones that are under local authority care.I have no choice in the matter but I still agree with it.
By your logic then perhaps all parents should be checked out before they're allowed to have children. And while they're at it what about all the uncles, aunts etc. After all most children are abused by their family. We're creating a paranoid surveillance society where no one takes responsibility for looking after themselves let alone their children.
 
#12
Zaza,Totally agree.

Everybody in my household had to be checked and that included my son(Her father)

I believe this as only been the norm for kinship carers for the last 4 years,otherwise the children were just handed over.

Regarding the peodofiles,I am not a vigalanti.I would just prefer to know where they are.I am probably more aware and have to hold myself back from totally scaring a 5 year old just yet.
 
#13
Temple said:
taboo said:
Why is it??

I did say anybody who stays on a regular basis and I totally agree with it.

I had to go through it and she is my granddaughter,why should they take my word for it that I have never harmed a child?

All children deserve to be protected not just ones that are under local authority care.I have no choice in the matter but I still agree with it.
By your logic then perhaps all parents should be checked out before they're allowed to have children. And while they're at it what about all the uncles, aunts etc. After all most children are abused by their family. We're creating a paranoid surveillance society where no one takes responsibility for looking after themselves let alone their children.
Can you spot a peodofile?I know I cant!

I did all the stranger danger stuff with my boys and I thank god it could have been worse and yes I became paranoid about men around them,so what?

You are right I failed my son by allowing my friends son to take him to football,I dont mind admitting I will never forgive myself.
 
#14
Temple said:
taboo said:
Why is it??

I did say anybody who stays on a regular basis and I totally agree with it.

I had to go through it and she is my granddaughter,why should they take my word for it that I have never harmed a child?

All children deserve to be protected not just ones that are under local authority care.I have no choice in the matter but I still agree with it.
By your logic then perhaps all parents should be checked out before they're allowed to have children. And while they're at it what about all the uncles, aunts etc. After all most children are abused by their family. We're creating a paranoid surveillance society where no one takes responsibility for looking after themselves let alone their children.
I agree with taboo. Kids and young people need protection.

Temple, I understand your concerns, over 90% of the Y.P I come into contact with who have suffered abuse are the victims of their own families...although I call them survivors. It's not paranoia, its fact. Plus there are many who have kids in this world who quite simply should never have them...period! So, yes, I'd be checking the parents out too. I live in hope that one day some politician will have the guts to introduce legislation to do just that.
 
#15
All nonces should be locked up for life, after castration. Put them in a peodo colony in Benbecula, doing something useful.

But never allowed amongst the population again.
 
#16
taboo said:
Temple said:
taboo said:
Why is it??

I did say anybody who stays on a regular basis and I totally agree with it.

I had to go through it and she is my granddaughter,why should they take my word for it that I have never harmed a child?

All children deserve to be protected not just ones that are under local authority care.I have no choice in the matter but I still agree with it.
By your logic then perhaps all parents should be checked out before they're allowed to have children. And while they're at it what about all the uncles, aunts etc. After all most children are abused by their family. We're creating a paranoid surveillance society where no one takes responsibility for looking after themselves let alone their children.
Can you spot a peodofile?I know I cant!

I did all the stranger danger stuff with my boys and I thank god it could have been worse and yes I became paranoid about men around them,so what?

You are right I failed my son by allowing my friends son to take him to football,I dont mind admitting I will never forgive myself.
Unfortunately your logic is seriously flawed. Background checks do not determine if an individual is a paedo, only if they are a convicted one. I don't see how outside organisations that have a duty of care to ensure that employees carry no convictions this assists you one little bit in the home.
 
#17
taboo said:
All the police have to do is to drive past the houses of peodofiles to just check no children are hanging around.

On a slighty different note about checking out future partners,I foster my granddaughter so any body that stays in my house on a regular basis would have to be assessed and checked.That includes female friends etc.If they have nothing to hide and have no convivtions against children then there should not be a problem.
Firstly, if a paedophile is considered a danger to kids, they should be locked up. The idea of keeping a list that the police can 'monitor' seems ridiculous.

Secondly, we're not talking about 'convictions against children'. The police will divulge information on accusations and anything the processing officer considers 'relevant'. Still think that's OK? You won't after I've made a wild, unproven accusation against you and you've been banned from fostering your granddaughter.

Lastly, don't fall into the trap of thinking that CRB checks, etc. will protect you in any way. There are many dangerous people out there with clean records.
 
#18
Interesting to see on the news, that after the pilot scheme it is only being rolled out to Britain and not Northern Ireland as well. I would have thought this would have applied to the whole UK and not just Britain. Or are they afraid that the wingdings we have over here, might just make the current number of peadophiles running about the streets just suddenly dwindle (except Liam Adams of course).
 
#19
DeltaDog said:
taboo said:
All the police have to do is to drive past the houses of peodofiles to just check no children are hanging around.

On a slighty different note about checking out future partners,I foster my granddaughter so any body that stays in my house on a regular basis would have to be assessed and checked.That includes female friends etc.If they have nothing to hide and have no convivtions against children then there should not be a problem.
Firstly, if a paedophile is considered a danger to kids, they should be locked up. The idea of keeping a list that the police can 'monitor' seems ridiculous.

Secondly, we're not talking about 'convictions against children'. The police will divulge information on accusations and anything the processing officer considers 'relevant'. Still think that's OK? You won't after I've made a wild, unproven accusation against you and you've been banned from fostering your granddaughter.

Lastly, don't fall into the trap of thinking that CRB checks, etc. will protect you in any way. There are many dangerous people out there with clean records.
DD, there are a number of monitoring mechanisms, not just the police, although, I smust say plod is now very proficient on monitoring on line activity of net sites that will attract people with perverted tendancies, and they have numerous other tricks up their sleeves. Hospitals, schools, even the organization I work for can all report. However, there is no way of locking up a person on mere suspicion, you have to go through the process, and as you can imagine that can be frustrating.

The checks I go through are very thorough, I'm vetted on a number of levels in addition to access to client information. Believe me the authorities don't mess around!. I am also well aware that some do slip through the net, nothing is fool proof!

I appreciate the real problem of false accusation, I've seen it happen. But there is still a process.

However, I do understand, appreciate and am supportive taboo's concerns. I see enough damaged kids in my work. If there is an efficient way of protecting these kids, even from their own families. it needs to be done.
 
#20
I am fully aware that there are probably many men/women out there who are harming children and have never been caught,so carry on abusing.

Sarah's law is about knowing where convicted offenders are and the police are not obliged to visit their homes,they routinely do drive pasts which like you sat are useless.

You think that if I was accused of abusing my granddaughter that I would be banned from fostering her?Myself and her brothers foster carer were accused of this by the mother,they did have to look into it but it was not taken any further,they dont always get it wrong.

Regarding them all being locked up if they are a danger to children,well agreed and I would make sure they could not have sex ever again but this is the real world and even the ones that get life still normally only serve half the sentence.
 

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