It's a sad state of affairs that one in ten men are, according to a survey, put off volunteering to work with children for fear of being labelled a paedophile.
I remember well in 2001 listening to Talk Sport when Mike Dicken, a daytime presenter said to a caller "I am suspicious of why any man would be a Primary School teacher - There's something very odd about that !". When someone else phoned in, a primary school teacher who was male, Mike Dicken implied that he was a paedophile, then cut the man off before he could reply. If we have idiot presenters like this (fortunately Mike Dicken died last December) implying that teachers, one of the most heavily vetted and monitored of professions, are paedophiles, what hope for the rest of the population.
We are, as a society, right to be wary and careful about putting children in danger, but when voluntary groups like cubs, scouts and youth clubs are finding it so very difficult to get volunteers haven't we gone overboard in whipping up a frenzy of fear about child molesters ?
After all, 90% of sexual assaults on children are committed by family members or people already known to them, often family friends.
What do we do about the 1 in 10 then ? Perhaps there should be more o fan emphasis in schools on volunteering, on getting people to get involved and see it as very normal, not something odd. Still, it is a sad state of affairs that people who want to volunteer to work with kids are put off in the way they are.