[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
How best to deal with paedophiles?
A young girl facing a window
Many child sex crimes are committed by first time offenders
The Home Office has announced new measures for dealing with sex offenders, which include offering more drug treatments to prevent further offences.

The treatment involves voluntary ingestion of libido-reducing drugs or anti-depressants, and the measures also include parents being able to ask for checks on whether people in close contact with their children are known sex offenders.

One expert, Dr Donald Findlater, from child protection charity the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, believes medical treatments are only part of the package needed to tackle paedophilia.

"The problem is there's no single solution because there's no single problem.

"Some people need treatment such as biological or chemical measures to support psychological treatment.

"These medical treatments are going to have to be piloted alongside other measures to monitor and control behaviour, such as lie detector tests, for example."

'Lonely and forlorn'

Dr Findlater, who is director of research and development at the charity, says what is vital is the implementation of a range of measures that will help prevent offending behaviour.

We need to start working out how to protect children from the much bigger number of unknown offenders who are out there
Dr Donald Findlater

"There are very few places that they can go if they are aware that they have a problem.

"We have to find a way to help people who are struggling with this problem at an earlier stage.

"If they are a father, or a teacher, or a clergyman then if they go to seek help the first thing that happens is that they get kicked out of the house, or lose their job, or are hounded out by their neighbours.

"This can lead to them becoming more lonely and forlorn and we think that makes them more of a risk.

"I'm very interested with how a single mother can find out information about their partners.

"If she does that, then what is she then able to do with that information? Who can she share that with?"

Community attitudes

Dr Findlater said the issue was "less to do with the treatment and more to do with the whole community climate that stops offenders from having a good life".

This pressure, he said, will make them less safe to have out in the community.

"Some go underground, not because they're going to offend but because they're trying to get away from abuse. Again, this makes them a less safe prospect to have around.

"We need to start working out how to protect children from the much bigger number of unknown offenders who are out there."

Dr Findlater said increasing numbers of people will be going to court on sex offence charges who do not have a previous record.

"Tomorrow there will be a bunch of new offenders that we didn't know about before. That's what we've got to deal with."

New trials for law on paedophiles
09 Apr 07 |  Somerset
Doubts over British Megan's Law
23 Jul 06 |  UK Politics
US 'worst' for online child abuse
20 Jul 06 |  Technology
The story of Megan's Law
18 Jun 06 |  UK

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific