No, not really

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.

20 thoughts on “No, not really”

  1. “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.”

    Schrodinger’s Pedo?

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    There’s a misunderstanding about who safeguarding is supposed to protect.

    When I did my safety boat ticket most of the safeguarding was about how to lift children out of the water without being accused of “copping a feel” by an onlooker or the casualty or ending up in a 1:1 situation where allegations could be made.

    The safeguarding for working with vulnerable people is similar – how to help them dress without being accused of something untoward etc. There is a formal DBS check but that’s just about blocking people with convictions, if they haven’t got any its useless.

    Maybe that wasn’t the intention but as we’re in a world where allegations are believed it is the outcome.

  3. @BiND

    Yes, most safeguarding “training” is about preventing people being accused falsely. The training sessions are short and the advice on what to do if you suspect there is a problem is to report it up the chain. The sessions I did were for sports coaching, but this seems pretty universal. If we really wanted to do more on safeguarding, we’d spend more on in depth support for those who do deal regularly with kids and the vulnerable rather than this stuff designed to cover the backside of the adult.

    One other depressing thing is that the prodnoses in charge had a bizarre fascination with criminal records checks, which they fetishized as a necessity – so they wanted to check everyone. When it was pointed out that it did nothing to catch the undetected, their response was “it’s the only tool we have”.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset


    I’ve heard that problem about sports a number of times and its leading to a lack of volunteers. The organiser of the junior section at my golf club finds it hard to get people to volunteer to drive juniors to away matches (don’t get me started on parental responsibility) because people feel that having to be checked is a comment on their motives. (They don’t have to be checked but not doing so leaves the club open in the event of an allegation)

    It must be worse for the Scout movement with all these stories when the reality is that this is 250 leaders in 70 years. How many Scout troops are there and how many leaders over those years, it must be running in to hundreds of thousands, with 99.9r% of them doing it for the right reasons.

  5. I used to teach karate in the 1980s. Karate outfits aren’t really well designed for little kids to be able to put on by themselves. The trousers have draw strings instead of elastic and the tops are tied on with strings. Consequently helping the little ones get dressed was part of the job. I was uncomfortably aware of the potential for trouble here but just had to get on with it.

  6. It must be worse for the Scout movement with all these stories when the reality is that this is 250 leaders in 70 years. How many Scout troops are there and how many leaders over those years, it must be running in to hundreds of thousands, with 99.9r% of them doing it for the right reasons.

    Yeah. Mate of mine used to be an assistant scout leader. Nice enough bloke, but slow in the head but he always loved being in the cubs and scouts helping out as one of the assistants was just a natural progression of that, but the paperwork was never ending and by the time he called it a day it got to the point he described as “everyone is a suspected pedo unless proven otherwise”. That was when he quit, probably around 2010, because it just wasn’t worth the hassle, not just the paperwork, but the automatic assumption that he was a kiddy fiddler.

    I mean, who needs that?

  7. Yeah, but the further back you go, the less likely any of them were going to get found out. I had a teacher at secondary school tried it on with me. Even at 12 I was pretty streetwise. He got a rejection that was, let us say, forcible. But who would I have reported it to? My word against his. And how much shit would I be buying myself if I wasn’t believed? I wasn’t stupid, either. I remember he was something to do with the Scouts. Used to encourage boys to join. He looked the type as well. All very hearty.

  8. We had a guy in the club, tennis coach. He used to run a quiz night. I turned up as a new member and ended up on his wife’s and son’s team. One night in the interval for the xmas quiz the lights went down, came back up and he was in shorts and a singlet, music came on and he did a solo dance for about 5 minutes. Apparently it was his exam piece at the school of dance when he was 18 and he’d done it every year since. He wasn’t bad bad, but he was 60, and if I’hadn’t been warned by regulars he was serious about it, my natural reaction would’ve been to laugh my head off. Instead, knowing it was an earnest artistic endeavour it became cringe AF.
    A year later someone spotted a conviction reported in the local paper. Plead guilty to grooming. President banned him. Never saw him again. All i can say the signs were there.

  9. Most of the Scout leaders I’ve met in recent years are women, basis men have left the field. In my younger years I taught primary school children to swim at the local pool, coached junior boxing … kiddies on ski slopes, rockfaces, in canoes and Wayfarers. Not saying I wouldn’t do the same again. But…

  10. DBS costs about 200 million a year, I understand. All in, the pedophile industry must be well over a billion. Are any figures collected?

  11. One wonders about care home workers, school teachers. We hear a lot about Catholic ones, but are the others any better?
    Seems to me that these matters are glossed over for “approved” organisations and thoroughly investigated in “disapproved” ones.

  12. @Pat
    Yes indeed. I wonder why no screws working in YOIs have been prosecuted. Is it policy of the POA to sweep any incidents under the carpet?

  13. I used to coach rugby for urchins on Sunday mornings. That was before all such fuss. In the modern era I don’t think I’d have even entertained the idea.

  14. Low down the article some scout leader mentions the number of scouts in that period as over 10 million (well over, I should have thought: when I was in the age bracket it must have been about one in four boys in my home town). 255 is one to forty thousand or more boy scouts. So it looks as if the Scout Association was quite good at weeding out the paedophiles.

  15. Actual number of paedos =small.

    Amount of hassle generated by this marxistic cause? Very large and destructive to organisations that Marxism doesn’t like anyway. If all the men hadn’t been harassed out would Scouts etc have been as easy a target for woke bullshit?

    The real attitude of the scum of the left to paedos is shown by the paedo capers now going on openly in regard of young trannies. Plus their imported RoP mates mass activities. So they care about kids as much as they do about women. Equals exulting as actual women are shit-bashed by Desperate Dans in drag. But the anti-paedomania serves a destructive purpose so socialist doublethink endorses it alongside paedo “lifestyles”.

    Purge the fucking lot.

  16. Simple solution for the Scouts – ban girls from being Scouts and ban poofters from being Scout leaders. Job done.

    If they don’t, the Scouts won’t exist in 20 years time.

  17. “organisations that Marxism doesn’t like anyway”: an acquaintance of mine, a keen Labour man by upbringing, once told me that his father wouldn’t let him join the scouts because they were fascist.

  18. They had their own crew in the 1930S. As a lad my Dad was in the Woodcraft Folk as they were called. I still have his old manual. It is full of what is today called “bushcraft” and is entirely free of politics. Which shows that even commies had a tiny amount of sense back then.

  19. As a sprog I went to a Woodcraft meeting thinking it was about carpentry. I was woefully disappointed.

  20. Yet what are the kinds of issues the scouts association is actually investigating? Whether a scout leader maybe misgendered some beardy twat who insists on being called “they”. FFS

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