I don't like to consider how many people have been put in the same situation as me. I sincerely believe that the reportage, although technically accurate, has made the world a very much worse place, ergo, we should be seeking to find out if there are ways in which we might avoid damage in the future.
The first two items seem to be a no-brainer. If you are going to out sex-offenders, use language which informs normal people more accurately
It is understandable that people imagine the worst when they read such loose descriptions. People should be informed, and these terms may, in a way, have the negative result.
Of the 25 crimes including mine in that day's paper, 18 of them were, in themselves, more damaging to society than mine (4 of them are hard to quantify and two were measurably beneficial to society). Of those 24 other crimes only one had an arguably sterner sentence (22 weeks in jail). The average cost (comprising some mixture of Fine, Costs, and Compensation) was eighty pounds more than mine, but that is not accounting for The Laptop and two hard drives which were in excess of £1,700, and, more importantly the years of priceless personal work, including award winning research, unique history, and family photographs and films. Trust me, I'd rather have the extra eighty pounds (and I reiterate, none of the images were on the lap top)
The sentences and financial impostions are nothing compared to the fall-out. By publishing the plea many peoples lives have been diminished. Everybody loses. Nobody is safer. Even the haters hate more. Relationships are put under strain needlessly, I rarely use my front door, and shake before I do, House prices are unfairly diminished, distrust proliferates, love diminishes, gossip thrives and facts are buried. I now get in the car to shop eight miles away instead of nipping down to Aldi on my bike 2 km away. I feel I can't go into town. People feel betrayed, foolish. Loose loose, loose, loose, loose - all for no gain.
Given that risks of reoffending for such offences are in the region of 3% after 7 years we MUST ask the question. Are the benefits of publication of such offences, given the stigma and reaction, greater than the inevitable costs? Like anyone, I want to keep children safe, but should we be burning 97 people at the stake for the sake of a tenous attempt of stopping three addicts?
Given that risks of reoffending for such offences are in the region of 3% after 7 years we MUST ask the question. Are the benefits of prosecution of such offences, given the stigma and reaction, greater than the inevitable costs? Research would indicate that timely intervention is every bit as effective as trial and punishment of such offences.
I'm no expert, but it strikes me we should be tracing and punishing the real exploiters and abusers, and in a society where behaviours, however abhorrent, may not be discussed rationally, we are reducing the chances of making the world safer and better.