Scotland could become a target for paedophiles if proposals for
a 10-year maximum sentence for grooming are made law, the
Association of Directors of Social Work has warned.
In its response to the consultation on the Protection of
Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill, the
ADSW is calling for the maximum sentence to be raised to 14 years,
the same as in England.
“We would wish to see consistency of sentencing across the
UKÉ An individual could travel from England to commit an
offence in the knowledge that if he or she were caught they could
receive a lesser sentence for the offence in Scotland than in
England,” Bernadette Doherty, convener of ADSW’s children and
families committee, said.
Implementing the bill would also have costs for child protection
as well as criminal justice social work, she said. “For those who
are then placed on the child protection register, social work may
be required to carry out a range of interventions and support. Most
local authorities are already inadequately funded for this and the
system would struggle to accommodate additional pressures,” she