Another couple of emails on this subject:
I agree100% with you and this was the line I took in a Three counties radio phone in when I asked that very question. I actually said " what kind of a world have we created when an elderly man can't bend down to talk to a child in the street without fear of being being shouted at by a fearful parent. Do you know what his answer was???" I don't want a dirty old man talking to my kids on the street! We have paedophile paranoia whipped up be the media and to which our poor public institutions must respond - its a tricky balancing act but we are NOT CRB checking parents in playgrounds nor banning them!!
I think it fair to say that, whatever the "actualite" of the circumstances surrounding the playground issue, the "communications side" of it has not necessarily been handled that well.
Some of the comments on the local paper's site indicate that there is quite some divergence of views as to the "facts" of this matter.
Wrt paranoia I would suggest that the suitable "response" to "media induced hysteria" (which most certainly exists wrt many issues, not just paedophilia), is not for public institutions or the politicians running them to roll over and do what the hysterics want, but for the politicians to show some real leadership and stand up to the hysterics.
Allowing the tabloids and the mob to dictate policy will lead us further down the very unpleasant path that we have already been travelling for far too long.
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