Before I begin I should probably start by saying that I originally came across this via the Daily Mail which of course puts me in a suspiscious frame of mind as to its authenticity from the very begining so do bare that in mind as you read.
Anyway, having read it I did a spot of googling and came across the original stories in the Shropshire Star here and here.
Now it certainly seems that the screaming headlines aren't quite the truth, but what it does boil down to is that council staff working in parks have been specifically briefed to look out for peadophiles in local parks in Telford, albeit individuals that they think are suspiscious and not just those without children as the headlines state.
Regardless of the detail this is quite shocking, it is totally unecessary and serves only to further whip up the hysteria in this country about peadophiles. And in turn this also makes me people even less inclined to do anything that involves working with children because of the sense of suspiscion that they feel under.
Your child is more likely to be struck by lightening than to be abducted by a stranger, 90% of sexual abuse takes place within the family or extended family. The threat of "stranger danger" is negligable compared, for example, to being run over. If you are a parent making sure your child can cross the road and cycle safely (as opposed to stopping them do it) should be a far bigger priority that looking out for peadophiles.
Everyone that comes into contact with children shares a responsibility for their protection, however that should come with a liberal dose of common sense. Of course a park keeper that sees a child injure themselves or in distress should of course intervene, as should any other adult on hand. Yet in the climate created by council staff being briefed to look out for peadophiles how comfortable would any adult in Telford be about assisting a distressed child?
This policy is just the latest stage in this country's unhealthy obession with peadohiles, fuled to a massive extent by the tabloids. And obsession that needs to be got rid of, and fast.