Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles will provoke many questions such as: is paedophilia an illness and how to check if a paedophile lives near you?
Disturbing figures show that lockdown has only made the problem of child abuse in the UK worse.
Reports of obscene material more than doubled in the first month of lockdown in 2020.
This new C4 documentary series follows undercover police officers who “hunt paedophiles”.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles
The three-part series follows police officers working undercover online.
First of all, police officers assume a new identity to lure out sex offenders.
Then they engage with those who demonstrate a sexual interest in children.
We see an undercover officer, ‘Simon’, pretend to be a 47-year-old paedophile.
He claims he enjoys sexually abusing his 10-year-old daughter Jess and is looking for other men who would like to join him.
In sickening footage, several men come forward.
Finally, the police swoop in and arrest the offenders.
Hunting Paedophiles on C4: What is a paedophile?
A paedophile is a person who is sexually attracted to children.
Some paedophiles do not act on their urges.
However, others do – watching, making and enjoying child porn online.
Some offenders go on to groom, sexually assault, rape and even kill their victims.
Is paedophilia an illness?
Paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder.
It is a sexual perversion involving intense and recurrent sexual urges towards prepubescent children.
The International Classification of Diseases defines it as a “sustained, focused, and intense pattern of sexual arousal” towards children.
Is there a cure for paedophilia?
There is no recognised cure for the condition.
Although some psychologists say they can help people “control” their sexual interest in children.
There has also been clinical trials involving drugs.
How many paedophiles are there in the UK?
The pandemic has caused an explosion in online child sexual abuse.
As a result of children being stuck at home, reports of obscene material have more than doubled.
In April 2020, there were nearly nine million attempts in the UK to access child sexual abuse websites.
Three thousand people are considered a threat to children in the UK.
Half a million men in the UK have viewed and used child abuse material.
What is Sarah’s Law?
There is a way of finding out if anyone potentially dangerous to your little ones lives in your neighbourhood.
Parents have the right to ask the police for information related to convicted sex offenders under a ruling called Sarah’s Law.
Convicted paedophile Roy Whiting abducted and murdered eight-year-old Sarah in 2000.
Subsequently, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
It was later revealed that he had already served four years in prison for abducting and sexually assaulting another eight-year-old girl.
How to check if a paedophile lives near you
Here’s how you can find out if there is someone who has signed the Sex Offenders’ Register in your area.
You can request information relating to a child by calling 101 or visit your local police station.
You can ask for a Child Sex Offenders Disclosure Scheme Form (Sarah’s Law), or Form 284.
The police will disclose information only if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.
Call 999 straight away, however, if you feel a child is in immediate danger.
How are paedophiles caught?
In 2017, the police rolled out a new strategy to catch paedophiles online using undercover police officers.
The tactic has seen hundreds of child sex offenders identified and arrested.
Sadly, police officers know that for every one they arrest there are countless more out there.
Undercover officers have been able to catch offenders online by “pretending to be their friend”.
Consequently, they arrest the perpetrator when they have enough evidence to prove guilt.
Up to 450 paedophiles are being arrested every month in the UK.
This is amid an “explosion” of online offences, a report revealed in March last year.
How are paedophiles punished?
First of all, sex offenders can be given lengthy jail sentences, depending on the severity of their crime.
They are consequently also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Sex offenders are on the Register for differing lengths of time, depending on the type of offence.
For example, a person convicted of 30 months to life in jail will remain on the register indefinitely.
Likewise, an offender given a community order sentence will stay on the register for five years.
However, in the C4 doc, we’re told: “At the moment, someone can possess a video of a child being raped and not go to prison.
“They will get a suspended sentence.”
Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles begins on Channel 4 at 9pm on Monday February 8 2021.
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