I was watching Sky News the other day; the story was about a number of people who had been stopped from entering an eastern country, I can’t recall which. These guys had convictions for child sex offences. The newscaster said “…given the rate of
re-offending,” which implied that it was a high rate. The interviewee, from some agency or other, quickly pounced on this and slipped in “…the high rate of re-offending.”
Let me lay out my position: I do not condone any criminal acts including offences against children; however, the pedalling of this type of misinformation has got to stop. I know from the official figures that, taken as a whole, the re-offending rate for sex offenders is very low, running at 8-10%. The overall rate for re-offending (including all classes of offence) is just under 50%. Whilst I do not have the re-offending rates specific to child sex offenders, I think it is a stretch to refer to it as high.
This media driven misinformation leads to paranoia, hatred and violence. These are not the actions of a civilised society; at least, not one I want to be part of. Please, please, please do not be misled by these hacks. I’ve met many sex offenders over the years and the overwhelming majority are remorseful and want to live their lives as decent human beings. Hounding and vilifying the 90% of sex offenders who do not go on to re-offend is counter-productive. Society is the big loser from this type of thought process.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 16th August 2017