Dylan Baker plays a married man who becomes obsessed by an 1 1-year-old boy in * Happiness

An intelligent new scheme to reduce sex offences could soon be piloted in Scotland. It’s got to be good news. Words: Paul Dale

ou may have missed it. A slither of a feature on the regional news

about a proposed community project so simple and yet ridiculous it could be a Chris Morris prank designed to put out the noses of nation's

red top imbibers. The report told of a scheme to reduce the proliferation of

child sex offences that had been so successful in Toronto that it is looking to

get green lighted in areas of Scotland with high relocation levels of

paedophiles. The scheme does not involve mob violence. guarded safe houses or scared parent's focus groups. no. it simply involves friendship. that most natural of human capabilities.

The Circles of Support scheme has been working in Canada for eight years years. as part of the Community Reintegration Project set up by the Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario. It involves volunteers meeting convicted paedophiles on a regular basis. whether it be for a coffee. a chat or a walk in the park. By making this human connection. the offenders feel they are no longer alone in their illness and by straying from their reformed path they are not only letting themselves down but also their new acquaintances.

So simple. so tin-tabloid. it is little wonder the debate stopped there. Scan the internet. look in your newspaper archives and you will find little or no reference to this wants ground breaking idea. Why‘.’ Simply because it to of makes bad copy. Who wants to talk of _ - hunmnitarian schemes when they can criticise pOSItIVe bankrupted councils for rehousing offenders in schemes miserable tower blocks. where would-be

vigilante parents are quite happy to let their When

children wander freely until they scream them can criticise

in at tea time or. worse still. the sacred comes .. councfls?

face to face with the profane‘.’

It may sound like so much hippy do- goodery but think about the alternatives. In Toronto the re-offender rate has dropped. simply through the power of communication. What other programme to stop these horrendous crimes has had such success? Of course this does not stop paedophiles from offending the first time but. in terms of repeat offender harm reduction no one has come tip with anything better.

Violence and abuse to children is endemic across all classes. By communicating and accessing risks social workers are simply trying to destroy the cycle of abuse by occasionally removing the victim. but better still. treating and removing the perpetrator. The Canadian model works upon the same lines: connection through friendship coupled with treatment and trust allows the abuser. who can contact their befriender at any time of the day or night. to remove themselves from the necessity to offend.

You really want to save the child‘.’ Then spare the mob.

Disagree? react@list.co.uk


The Front

1 Y ‘l'u Mama Tamblen

Fllm Sexy road movie romp starring Gael Garcia Bernal, who was last seen in cult dog fighting classic Amores Perros. See feature and review, pages 24 and 29. General release.

2 No Man’s Land

Theatre Corin Redgrave stars in Harold Pinter’s latest hit, another menacing tale of silence, space and imprisonment. See feature, page 14. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.

3 Grandmaster Flash

Clubs The original hip hop master keeps us out of our scratchers with some wizardry on the wheels of steel at Traxx. See preview, page 80. Arches, Glasgow.

4 Cornershop

Music Tjinder and Ben lavish us with songs from their new album Handcream ForA Generation. See preview, page 51. QMU, Glasgow.

5 Italian Film Festival

Film A Scotland-wide festival celebrating the best of modern ltalian cinema. Plus, a few gems from the past. See feature. page 26. Various venues.

6 Jim Dodge

Books The master of culty underground Americana comes out of his hidey—hole with prose and poetry under the umbrella of Rain On The River. See review, page 114. Canongate.

7 Amelie/The Man Who Wasn’t There

Video Two of the quirkiest arthouse cinema hits of last year are coming to a small screen near you in the same week. See review. page 121. Momentum/Entertainment.

8 Pants

Theatre Forbes Masson follows up his Stiff and Mince with a musical about love and the dysfunctional Scottish male. See preview. page 68. Dundee Rep.

9 Charles Burns

Comics Painfully cool strips with crazy characters such as Big Baby and El Borbah. See review, page 115. Fantagraphics.

10 Henry VIII’S Wives

Art The international collaborative group give us Light Without Shadow. site- specific works including a reconstruction of Skara Brae in the Orkneys. See preview, page 94. Tramway.

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