Patrick Sawer, senior reporter
28 FEBRUARY 2017
A leading police officer has said that paedophiles who view indecent images should not be charged and taken to court unless they pose a physical threat to children.
Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said low level offenders should simply be placed on the sex offenders register and given counselling and rehabilitation instead.
He said that would free the police to deal with the core of dangerous paedophiles who are seeking out and exploiting children in order to rape and carry out “the most awful sexual abuse” against them.
Mr Bailey said he acknowledged that many people would be “nervous” about his proposals.
But he said it was time to look at alternatives to prosecution because reports of sexual abuse have reached “saturation point”.
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