OUR exclusive report in the weekend’s paper makes for worrying reading, especially if you are parent.
It is also hugely concerning that the revelations are only being made public after The Sunday Post submitted Freedom of Information requests surrounding the monitoring of sex offenders in the community.
Among the documents finally released to us was a memo from Police Scotland that warned proposed cutbacks on some checks carried out on offenders would increase the risk of attacks on children in our communities.
Despite the police making their fears plain and clear, to the extent they calculated the move could see a minimum of 18 youngsters subjected to abuse, the authorities formed new guidance that means fewer convicted sex offenders will have their addresses checked by social workers to establish the identity of their neighbours and whether a risk is posed.
We can fully understand that social workers are facing huge pressures in many areas. In relation to sex crimes alone, the number of offenders has grown substantially due to the explosion of online child sex offences, including grooming and the possession of indecent images.
However, if social workers are struggling to monitor those criminals then we shouldn’t simply reduce the numbers of checks being carried out.
Surely, the most sensible action would be to look at the budgets of those organisations who are left to carry out such important tasks.
We cannot be left in the position where a sex offender, who was previously deemed low risk, strikes again because he has been left in a community without full and proper checks being carried out on his living arrangements.
After all, what price do we put on a child’s safety?