Scots sex offences bill is criticised

    Scotland’s new sexual offences bill could be undermined by too
    much emphasis on “stranger danger” and a lack of police
    resources.

    Maggie Mellon, director of charity Children First, said the
    Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland)
    Bill going through the Scottish Parliament could give people a
    “false sense of security”.

    The bill proposes restricting the movements of convicted sex
    offenders by making sexual offences prevention orders available at
    the time of sentencing. Also it will introduce risk of sexual harm
    orders for those suspected of being a threat to children. Laws on
    internet grooming of children by paedophiles, similar to those in
    England, would also be introduced.

    “The police had to limit their prosecutions of people identified
    by Operation Ore to those who possessed more than 150 images
    because of a lack of money. If they haven’t the resources to
    enforce existing legislation how will they be able to monitor the
    internet and grooming?” Mellon said.

    She added that the bill put too much emphasis on “stranger
    danger” and the use of regulations and police checks to protect
    people when these were not always reliable, while increased
    regulations put people off working with children.

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