More than 250 Scout leaders have been convicted of child sexual abuse in the UK and Ireland, new analysis has found.
Offences including rape, indecent assault, voyeurism and the possession, creation and distribution of indecent images made up scores of cases involving either leaders of the Scout movement or those in a position of responsibility.
The abuse cases stretch back as far as the 1950s, but also include convictions in recent years, including two men who were jailed last year.
Oliver Cooper, a Scout leader from West Sussex, was jailed for six years in October for a string of offences committed two years earlier, including three counts of sexual assault against two six-year-old girls.
Another former Scout leader, Graham Avison, of Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to four counts of indecent assault against a teenage boy in the 1990s.
The revelations, first reported by The Guardian, have led to questions about the rigour with which safeguarding is enforced in the Scout movement.
What was happening 70 years ago isn’t all that much of a guide to what is happening now, is it? And even the word safeguarding is pretty new, let alone the practice.
There is also the more obvious problem. Counting incidence by the number of people convicted doesn’t really work. Because the more you prosecute, the more you come down like a holy hail of terror, then the more seriously you are taking the safeguarding idea but also the higher the incidence seems by this method of counting.