This is a story that will baffle you. It certainly baffled me. Down in Devon or Dorset somewhere there’s a wildlife park. Some man with a couple of hours to kill thought it might interesting to go and see a falconry display, so fetched up there cash in hand. He was refused entry on the grounds that unaccompanied adults are not allowed in to reduce the likelihood of paedophile activities. This approach is flawed on a whole lot of levels.
Firstly there’s a presumption of guilt. Any man, or woman for that matter, since they’re banned too, must be up to no good. A pretty big assumption. By that token I’m surprised I’m allowed to walk past a children’s playground without getting stoned or banged up in chokey. I also wonder if the rule applies to park staff. I suspect not.
Then there’s the not inconsiderable and uncomfortable fact that the vast majority of attacks on children, in the UK at least, are carried out by people known to the children, either as family friends or more alarmingly family members. People hate to hear that statistic, but it’s a pretty important one. Your children are less at risk from strangers than from people that they, and you, know.
I wouldn’t put much faith in the idea that a couple are less of a risk than singletons. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley showed that way back when, and some of the bodies still haven’t been found.
I’m expecting to come under attack about this, but I’m not by any means advocating complacency. Yes, caution is needed but not the pseudocriminalisation of people going about their innocent business.
Lastly, despite what the tabloids will claim, in the UK levels of attacks have barely moved since the 1950s. It’s still too high, but that doesn’t mean we have to assume that all single people are perverts.