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Thursday, April 9, 1998 Published at 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK

Talking Point

Should convicted paedophiles be jailed for life?

Convicted paedophile Sidney Cooke has admitted he is still a danger to children but has nonetheless been released from prison.

He has been described as 'dangerous and predatory'. And news of his release has led to a public outcry for him, and those like him, to be locked up for ever.

BBC Radio 4's Today programme talks to a convicted paeodphile (3'54")
With 150 other paedophiles in prison awaiting release, pressure is on Home Secretary Jack Straw to find a solution.

And, though unlikely to alter the situation with Cooke, he has agreed to look at measures to keep paedophiles locked up indefinitely

The crime is an outrage and demands a life sentence, say protestors.

Not only that, some convicted paedophiles say that Cooke and those like him can never be cured.

Chief Constable Paul Whitehouse gives his views to BBC Radio 4's Today programme (3'18")
But others say that most criminals serve their sentence and then get on with their lives, why can't paedophiles expect the same?

New laws have already tightened the supervision of paedophiles and provided access to support systems to help them not to reoffend.

But, with vigilantes ready to make Cooke's life impossible, others also point out that it would perhaps be in everyone's favour if he had stayed where he was.

What do you think?

Should convicted paedophiles be jailed for life?

What you have said so far:

They should be locked up forever, no question about it......
James Wilton, UK

Everyone deserves a chance in this life, even paedophiles......
Jason Moore, US

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