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Not all paedophiles should be jailed, suggests Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey

PUBLISHED: 07:48 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12 28 February 2017

Chief Constable Simon Bailey. Photo : Steve Adams

Chief Constable Simon Bailey. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Norfolk’s police chief has said there needs to be a “balanced and proportional response” from the force nationally when dealing with people accused of child sexual abuse.

According to the Times newspaper, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said lower level offenders should be given counselling and rehabilitation and police should focus on the most dangerous paedophiles with access to children and those looking at the most serious images.

Chief Constable Bailey is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection and the comments come after he appeared on a BBC Crimewatch television programme on Monday, February 27, about tackling child abuse.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today show on Tuesday, February 28, Chief Constable Bailey defended his comments and stated that police can not cope with the amount of reports they are getting in relation to sexual abuse against children.

“We just can’t cope with it so what I am proposing is, when you look at the totality and the scale of the abuse that we are looking at, we have to find a balanced and proportional response.

“I have had conversations with colleagues across the justice system and of course there is some general nervousness. I can understand this is going to create and draw out some really difficult headlines but I think I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t raise the fact that as a service we are doing more than we ever have done before.

“We are as I said arresting 400 men every month, and that is still only the tip of the iceberg.”

He added that people found viewing indecent images of children would still become a registered sex offender.

“I believe that we are able to assess, very well, whether a paedophile who is viewing indecent imagery of children poses a threat of contact abuse and in the circumstances where that individual, as we assess, doesn’t pose a threat of contact abuse they should still be arrested but we can then look at a different disposal other than going through the formal criminal justice system,” he said.

“They would still become a registered sex offender and that means they are still being managed and that gives us the capacity just to deal with the scale and the volume of referrals that we are now consistently getting.

“We could with the support of the director of public prosecution use a conditional caution and with a conditional caution terms would apply to that where by they would have to attend some form of rehabilitation course like that run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation.”

He told the Times offenders who view online images should avoid jail only if they have been risk-assessed and shown to not have the potential to be in contact with children, he is reported to have told the newspaper.

The national newspaper quoted Chief Constable Bailey as acknowledging many people may be horrified at the stance but alternatives needed to be looked at as increasing reports of sexual abuse have pushed the situation to “saturation point”.

He reportedly told the Times: “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.

“Do the Crown Prosecution Service, the courts and the police have the capacity to put them into the justice system?”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “It is clear from these staggering levels of recorded child sex offences that police have a huge number of cases to investigate, often with limited resources.

“Prison sentences serve a vital purpose in reflecting the severity of the crime, protecting the public, acting as a deterrent, and helping a victim see their offender deservedly brought to justice.

“But we cannot arrest our way out of the situation - if we are to stem this tide and protect more children we must make prevention and rehabilitation a priority.

“With the right support we can prevent offenders from abusing and help those who do harm children change their behaviour.”

15 comments

  • GCHQ if they wanted could possibly find out the perverts by their web history, but then again if they did half the government will be behind bars.

    Report this comment

    stoneman

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • " everyone, police officers and the general public alike were over the moon when he left. Everyone ? Just the retards on Top Gear , The Sun and the boy racer club Safespeed. Law abiding motorists welcomed his period of office .

    Report this comment

    Larson Whipsnade

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Sorry Mr Bailley, you are wrong. If you can't, or won't, do your job move aside and let others do it. I understood it was your job to enforce the law, leave making it to others better qualified to do the job. Blaming resources or lack of them really is the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps stop sending 8 or so officers and 3 police cars to every breakdown on the A47 and you might free up a bit of time to catch these evil predators.

    Report this comment

    Rushallchap3

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Larson Whipsnade I do despair about you. Brumstrom caused major problems in North Wales and everyone, police officers and the general public alike were over the moon when he left.

    Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Tony Tang, That's the best written , most sensible comment on here so far. Here Here

    Report this comment

    Birch1

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Moved by emotion and not facing the reality. Internet is massive, if a abuser abuses children and posts media online and others view those images. While the police are busy arresting those who are only viewing those images the actual perpetrators are getting away scot free to abuse more children and get away with it because the police have their hands tied with now deemed criminals who have not actually abused any children but have done the morally wrong thing of viewing and getting off to those images. The Police don't have an infinitesimal amount of resources of which to rely on, pandering to the outraged will simply bleed the police dry with no real result. resources are finite and should be used wisely, if they pose no actual threat and are just arrested cause their ideas are disturbing that's just abuse of authority But if they ARE actively taking part then actions must be taken. As it currently stands, i personally see that no one benefits more from this current system than the actual instigators of abuse. I will add that It is difficult for a parentGuardian to not be emotional about this, but when you focus your spite on scapegoats the real deal is laughing at you. And to end, how many children are saved from abuse every time a scapegoat is arrested and tax payers money is thrown in to go through the due process. None, zero.. ziltch oh but at least you feel satisfied that justice has been served... right? If my views are skewed and wrong please do tell me and let me know why

    Report this comment

    Tony Tang

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Possibly but when this Chief Constable has taken a huge number of officers off the frontline, leaving it nearly bare to investigate almost exclusively paedophiles and still hasn't enough officers to do the job, yet the Government has sought to slash police funding what does he have to do to make the public wake up???

    Report this comment

    Simon

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • ".... ex Chief Constable of North Wales Police was a really controversial figure on his lead subject of speeding. ." . Only among speedophiles.....normal law abiding road users fully supported him.

    Report this comment

    Larson Whipsnade

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • This is not the first time a Chief constable who is the NPCC lead on a particular policing issue has caused controversy Richard Brumstrom the ex Chief Constable of North Wales Police was a really controversial figure on his lead subject of speeding. Depending on which subject your particular Chief Constable has been delegated, undoubtedly has an effect on policing priorities within your county. And I believe there is good evidence to suggest that some of these Chief Constables become too wrapped up in their delegated subject. Maybe the whole idea of delegated responsibilities should be revisited or at the very least be time limited.

    Report this comment

    Hereandthere

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Absolutely agree with you Flax the people who view the images are equally involved with the abuse :they need to view the images so so encouraging the takers of the photos and videos to shoot more pictures and videos and so more abuse and more abused children so it will continue to escalate, especially if they think the police are not going to prosecute! Barmy... He may not be so liberal with his suggestion that some paedophiles are lower risk if his children or grandchildren were at the centre of some one "just viewing" What a plank. What t totally irresponsible attitude. Yep I get we are running out of space but then make jail a punishment. its supposed to be hard... not cushy. If they ony get out of their cells one hour in 24 Tough, if they have three to a cell instead of 2 So be it. It is supposed to be punishment.... They did not give a toss about what they were doing to the children they abused....

    Report this comment

    countrybumpkin

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • "Looking at low-level images" is still looking at child pornography. Perhaps Mr bailey should reconsider his position.

    Report this comment

    Suffolk Exile

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • If you are able read between the lines what the Chief Constables appears to be saying is that the scale of abuse has been found to be so vast the police and the judicial system cannot cope. So either you find extra taxes to pay for extra police, more investigators, more courts, more jails etc or the alternative is giving abusers of lower levels of pornographic material a softer sentence. Doesn't sound or look good but if financial resources or the political will isn't there what other choices are there?

    Report this comment

    Simon

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • Just one pedo, active or not is one too many, find and castrate them all!

    Report this comment

    MEH!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • As a father of two i find this chief constables statement warped and utterly horrifying!

    Report this comment

    MEH!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

  • but people who view the images are involved with the abuse as they want to see the images so these sick people will take more photos and videos of the abuse so it will happen more , i really wonder about some of our police forces sometimes !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    flax

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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