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'Cultural shift' in child protection

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The NSPCC says that the Jimmy Savile case should mark a cultural shift in the way that we deal with allegations of child abuse. Its head of child protection John Cameron said: "We want this to mark a cultural shift so that if a child speaks out against someone, we take what they are saying seriously and we act upon it always in future".

How will this translate into the way that the police, CPS and courts deal with investigations and prosecutions? Can the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' be protected or are we going to have to look at the way the law works if we want to see more weight given to victims?

John Cameron, head of child protection at the NSPCC said: "We have to start believing what children say and take appropriate action." He added: "When children go to court, they are grilled quite heavily. The conviction rates for sexual assault for children is very low and we must place opportunities in our legal system for children to give evidence when they are not being pressurized."

Baroness Helena Kennedy said: "The cultural shift was already taken place. In our society now, we are incredibly alert to paedophilia." She added: "This cultural shift which has already taken place and has now led to a sense of over-protectiveness; a concern that everyone out there is a potential predator."


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