That's the stark warning from a recently retired senior police officer in Britain - and if it's happening there, I'm pretty sure it's also happening in the USA.
An astonishing 30,000 paedophiles are going unpunished even though police possess the technology to identify and arrest them, the former head of the police’s online child abuse unit has told The Telegraph.
In a withering critique, the ex-police chief in charge of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), Peter Davies, said vulnerable children were being subjected to sexual abuse that could be prevented.
Peter Davies, who retired as an assistant chief constable last month allowing him to speak out for the first time, said he was disgusted by and dismayed at the refusal of authorities to tackle the problem.
“I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness,” he said. “There are tens of thousands of people who should be locked up but we don’t know what to do with them.”
Research by CEOP when Mr Davies headed the national unit suggested 50,000 paedophiles in the UK were downloading illegal child sex images and videos.
The unit believes a little over half of those also engage in physical abuse.
Mr Davies said that police possess the technology to identify about 30,000 of the estimated 50,000 offenders, but under current policy the crimes are largely ignored due to a lack of resources.
. . .
Police currently have the technology to catch online offenders. But if encryption systems improve, those efforts will be thwarted in the future.
Mr Davies said there was currently a ‘golden opportunity’ to crack down on thousands of paedophiles but that chance would be missed if encryption techniques improve.
“If this golden window of opportunity is slammed shut in a few years’ time, it might stay shut forever after,” said Mr Davies. “It would not be hard for police to find offenders by the thousands. I can’t tell you the secrets of how that is done.”
But he said resources needed to be made available and urged the Government to rethink its priorities. “We are spending for example billions of pounds on the high speed rail network. But what about the human infrastructure of this generation of children who are being sexually abused?
"And what about the insider threat posed by so many criminals committing such offences unchallenged? It is time we had a public debate about this.”
There's more at the link.
I take the threat of pedophilia very seriously indeed. I've had all too many opportunities, as a pastor and prison chaplain, to see its devastating, evil effects at first hand. The damage it does to its young victims is indescribably sickening, particularly in its long-term effects. Those, like NAMBLA, who argue that children and young people have the ability - much less the right - to 'decide' to engage in sexual relationships with adults are not only disingenuous: as far as I'm concerned, they're evil personified, and should be dealt with as such.
I worry very much that the situation in the USA is as bad as Britain, proportionally speaking. Many police and law enforcement agencies devote relatively small resources to the problem of pedophilia, preferring to spend their limited budgets on more 'public' crime problems that deal with issues affecting adults. (Besides, that gathers publicity, which in turn helps them get bigger budgets to deal with such problems.) Pedophilia is all too often swept under the carpet, metaphorically speaking: ignored because it isn't much in the public eye.
I've commented before on what should happen to pedophiles, most recently last month. I won't repeat it here, except to say again that if guilt is proved beyond doubt (particularly when they're caught in flagrante delicto), I have no objection whatsoever to a swift, permanent remedy being applied on the spot. I'll gladly volunteer to do it myself, if necessary. There is no excuse for pedophilia, and no cure - except the final, permanent cure for life itself.