Why we need better tracking of Pedophiles
There was an interesting article on news.com.au today about Jimmy Savile. Most of it seemed to repeat a lot of my rant from yesterday. There was one particular paragraph that really stood out to me though:
Youngsters made several complaints to police over the years, none of which led to charges. The chief of London’s Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has apologised, saying police failed to piece together Savile’s “pattern of behaviour” from the disparate complaints.
How many different cases now have we heard of kids reporting something to the police, only to have it brushed over as not significant, or worse, buried on purpose, and then other kids going to the police, having the same thing happen, and then finally something explodes and somebody finally pays attention? Then, there’s no denying there was a pattern of abuse. There was a definite MO. That maybe if somebody had listened the first time the kids spoke up, that other kids might not have been abused.
In the US, the system is screwed up. I know, I work in an Intel Office. I see first hand that an area may be covered by a Police Dept, a Sheriff Dept, a few different Federal agencies, and these guys don’t share very much information between themselves. Something could be reported to the Police, and the next time it gets reported to the Sheriff. Until it hits further up the chain, somebody may not connect all the dots…. But, that’s why they have Intel centers. Everyone sends in their reports, they get looked over, put into a map, sent up to analysts, and also re-distributed back down to the field, where boots on ground can also see what’s going on in their area. It may be an analyst that sees a pattern, it may be someone like me putting it into the system, or it may be a cop reading my weekly paper that sees something of interest. They can see a pattern. We might notice the same name popping up again and again, even if it is for small stuff. Or it may not be a person, but it’s the same incident, over and over.
Now, I have no clue what kind of system England has, and I’m not going to pretend I do. I’ve never worked in a law enforcement setting in Australia either, but I do know each State has ONE Police Dept, and then there’s the Australia Federal Police, who are more like the FBI. So I’m sure there’s not quite as much red-tape on sharing information between different agencies. So how hard would it be for someone to set up some kind of database that tracks complaints on sex offenders? Not just on kids, but all sex offenders. It could be a completely internal system, that’s not shared with anyone else. But my suggestion would be that anytime a complaint is made, that the whole complaint and the name of the offender is put into the system. Then, anytime a new complaint is made, the system could be searched to see if that person is in there already. Even if you only have 2 complaints, if the MO is similar, and chances are good that the kids didn’t collude, you can assume there’s something going on. The person could be investigated further, not just dumped into a pile of “not enough evidence”. If you’ve got 2 people telling you about the one person, you’ve not got a pattern, and evidence.
Maybe there already is a system in place in Australia like this, and I just don’t know about it. But it seems like there’s lots of cases where multiple kids have been to the cops about a person, but nobody connected the dots till somebody went public….
Now, after the person has been convicted, they need to go on a public sex offender register. Then normal civilians can look at it and see if the nice neighbour offering to babysit their kids is a genuinely being nice, or if they’re just trying to access their kids….