Is Yvonne Roberts naturally stupid or does she have to work at it?

It beggars belief that, given the scale of child sexual abuse, in 2010, according to the Ministry of Justice, only 2,135 people were convicted, although police were notified of more than 23,000 offences. Something needs to change. Jimmy Savile\’s casual rapacious use of young vulnerable people meant he was called, at one point, the country\’s most prolific offender. In truth, he was probably no more prolific than the next lifelong child abuser,

If child abusers commit more than one offence before conviction then obviously the number of people convicted will be smaller than the number of offences.

To conjure some near random numbers from the air. Savile is said to have abused 300. We are told by Yvonne that this is similar to other such offenders. Let us, just for the hell of it, say that \”lifelong\” is 30 years. Libido does at least slow down for men as they age after all.

That would mean that each such offender was abusing 10 each year. Meaning that just over 2,000 people being convicted neatly takes us to solving, as near as damn it, 23,000 crimes of abuse.

I\’m not, BTW claiming that all abusers get caught, nor that all commit 10 offences a year, that there is no problem here etc. Only that, if in one and the same damn paragraph you\’re going to claim that abusers abuse multiple people then you cannot, in that same damn paragraph, claim that it beggars belief that fewer people get convicted than there are offences.

I know we\’re in the middle of a witch hunt here but please, a touch of logic in the newspapers please? Possibly even some numeracy?

22 comments on “Is Yvonne Roberts naturally stupid or does she have to work at it?

  1. You can’t expect even a “touch” of logic in the middle of a witch hunt. If logic and rational thought processes are allowed in, the witch hunt collapses.

    A particularly fun example is that in the past month, the BBC has been condemned for not broadcasting one set of testimonial allegations and then condemned for (trying hard not to make the same “mistake”) broadcasting another set.

    Interesting minor thing; a couple days ago the website of Richard Webster, the late author of The Secret Of Bryn Estyn (a book which exposes the degree of false allegations and Plod “trawling” in that case) went down; when it came back up, the particular article describing Steve Messham, among others, as grossly unreliable witnesses, had vanished.

  2. OK, but to balance out the occasional Jimmy, most child abusers are family or close friends of the victim, so we would expect them to be far less prolific, surely?

    Perhaps her most grievous error is in stating that someone who abused 300 people is not untypical. That sort of thing does little to help publicise the important point that most abusers are much closer to home that the media coverage of the issue would indicate.

  3. One might also assume that a proportion of the 23,000 were false accusations. I’d be relieved if we weren’t convicting people on the strength only of notifying the police.

  4. Is the ratio of complaints to convictions much different from any other category of offence? Many complaints will be spurious or exaggerated; many others will simply never stand up in court.

  5. Ian B, thanks for the tip about Richard Webster, though that book seems to be out of print, its £15. I’ll check the local library for that one. Do you have any other recommendations on this topic?

  6. I wonder what the idiot-woman means by ‘police were notified of [...] offences’. Those found with thousands of pictures of kids being abused can in theory be charged with a separate offence for each one, although in practice they’re not normally charged with all of them, but only with a number of specimen counts.

    The use of ‘notified’ makes me wonder if the police haven’t in fact been notified by the courts of additional offences committed by those 2,000 convicted of offences already.

  7. Eddy, can’t think of any other books immediately off the top of my head. I was going to recommend a website I have bookmarked that was at dramatis.hostcell.net which was a comprehensive biography of “movers and shakers” in the child protection/satanic abuse movement but that has also entirely vanished off the web, and I’m now getting paranoid. :)

  8. Jimmy Savile’s casual rapacious use of young vulnerable people meant he was called, at one point, the country’s most prolific offender. In truth, he was probably no more prolific than the next lifelong child abuser,

    Famous TV star. Involved in the music industry. Surrounded by adoring teenage girls.

    Let’s see. Can anyone think of a reason why Savile may have had a few more opportunities than your run of the mill sex offender?

    She must work on it.

  9. Jimmy Savile’s casual rapacious use of young vulnerable people meant he was called, at one point, the country’s most prolific offender.

    Look, he just isn’t, OK?

    He did very things with girls around 14 or 15 who said yes. We allowed Estonia to join the EU despite that being legal there, so we don’t consider that as a barbaric standard.

    I’m not even saying what he did was OK. But what Savile did was take advantage of easily-impressed girls. It’s pretty seedy, but I’m not sure I’d be any less disgusted if you told me that they were 16 instead of 15.

    But I do make a distinction (as do the courts) between dirty old men having sex with girls who say yes and say, catholic priests raping small boys.

  10. But I do make a distinction (as do the courts) between dirty old men having sex with girls who say yes and say, catholic priests raping small boys.

    It does seem to me that a large part of the glee and full-bore nature of this is that Savile was a heterosexual. Which means the Proggies don’t have to the problem of the strong historic correlation between homosexuality and pederasty (the two words used to be effectively synonymous).

    As David Cameron said, “We don’t want a witch hunt against homosexuals. We want a witch hunt against heterosexuals”. Hence, the rapid stifling of this particular part of the narrative.

    Anyway, here’s a funny thing. Apparently Messham withdrew his allegation after being shown a photo of McAlpine. What, he doesn’t have Google? He never bothered to look up what the guy looks like before pointing the finger? Doesn’t anyone else find this kind of odd?

    Back with Richard Webster’s website and the disappearing article, it described a BBC Panorama programme which contained testimony from seven victims. Four of them were known to be false testimony, accusing people who weren’t there when the “victims” were at Bryn Estyn. Messham was described as having named (if memory serves) 49 different people as having abused him, and the enquiry considered his evidence without merit and simply fantasy. A cynic might think that he withdrew the allegation simply because it was made clear to him that it was not going to hold water.

  11. does ukliberty want a witchhunt against heterosexuals…it would not surprise me given the intellectual content he usually shows …he is a leftie who loves witchhunts

  12. Anyway, here’s a funny thing. Apparently Messham withdrew his allegation after being shown a photo of McAlpine. What, he doesn’t have Google? He never bothered to look up what the guy looks like before pointing the finger? Doesn’t anyone else find this kind of odd?

    Messham says a police officer showed him a photo and said it was Lord McAlpine (this happened in the 90s). Presumably the conversation went something like, “is this the man who abused you?”, Messham said yes. “It’s Lord McAlpine.”

    Since discovering very recently Lord McAlpine doesn’t look like the man in the photo, he unreservedly withdrew his allegation it was Lord McAlpine and offered an unequivocal apology.

    iiuc he never made his allegation public. Newsnight claimed a senior Tory had abused. There was a list of a few alleged abusers on the internet. Lord McAlpine’s name was on this list.

  13. UKLiberty-

    From Richard Webster’s site; the article is back(!).

    “The next witness to appear on the programme was Steven Messham. He said that on one occasion, when he had been in the sick-bay with blood pouring from his mouth, he had been buggered by Howarth as he lay in bed. He said that on another occasion he was asked to take a hamper of food to Howarth’s flat, where he was buggered by Howarth over the kitchen table.

    What the BBC did not tell us was that Messham claims he was sexually abused by no less than 49 different people. He also says he has been physically abused by 26 people. In 1994 the Crown Prosecution Service declined to bring his allegations against Howarth to court. None of his allegations has ever resulted in a conviction. In 1995 one of his most serious sexual allegations was rejected by a jury after barristers argued that it was a transparent fabrication.”

    As to Cameron. Do you not understand the principle of humour? I shouldn’t need to explain this. I wrote that as a satirical way of emphasising that Cameron is worried about a witch hunt against “gay people”; the natural implication being that he is less worried about a witch hunt against straight people.

    I mean, I’m not sure whether you’re deliberately being vexatious, or whether you really think I really was presenting that as a literal transcript of what Cameron said.

  14. Can I just point out that for once I am ahead of the curve. I said the Savile witch hunt would run until it gets too close to criticism of homosexuals.

    Nice of Cameron to come out and say it though.

    And I agree with IanB that the second half was implied even if he did not openly say it. Even though the LRB (of all places!) this week is naming names, no media traction at all.

  15. Just to take up a point The Stigler made at #10.
    The average age for consent in the EU, adjusted for population, is well under 15. Here in Spain it’s 13. Although it’s important to note the various legal codes often treat relationships where the older participant’s relationship towards the younger, be it age difference or whether they could be said to have a degree of ‘control’ , differently. As there’s no particular reason why the age at which young people might wish to indulge in sex across the nations should be different & under age sex is treated as abuse by definition, it’s not hard to see why a country at the highest end of the age limit spectrum would have a high abuse rate.

  16. Saville’s abuse is supposed to have started when he was running nightclubs – and continued through his TV career? So, spanning 30 years. Without needing to take SMFS’s point at #9 in to account – 10 per year? Double it for those who haven’t come forward?

    It might be on the high side (especially as the modal abuse number is probably very low, even if the amount of abuse isn’t – as per #2) but is it prolific? Look at the abuse committed by pedo gangs or even the Rochdale child rapists.

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