More than 250 people have been convicted of child sex abuse while working with the Scouts, new figures show
- There were 255 convictions for rape, indecent assault, voyeurism and offences related to sexual images among Scout leaders and others in power
- The Scout movement was accused of exposing children to abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their welfare
- The convictions span from the 1950s to as recently as November last year
- Former Scout leader Graham Avison was jailed for five years and seven months
More than 250 people involved with the Scouts have been convicted of child sexual abuse, it was revealed yesterday.
There were 255 convictions for rape, indecent assault, voyeurism and offences related to sexual images among Scout leaders and others in positions of responsibility.
The Scout movement was accused of exposing children to abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their welfare.
The convictions span from the 1950s to as recently as November last year when former Scout leader Graham Avison, of Tameside, Greater Manchester was jailed for a total of five years and seven months.
The convictions span from the 1950s to as recently as November last year when former Scout leader Graham Avison (pictured), of Tameside, Greater Manchester was jailed for a total of five years and seven months
The 75-year-old ‘predator’ admitted four counts of indecent assault against a teenage boy he groomed by giving gifts that escalated from bars of chocolate to a car.
Another ex-leader, Oliver Cooper from Bognor Regis, West Sussex, was jailed for six years in October for three counts of sexual assault against two six-year-old girls, taking indecent photographs of a child and 13 counts of voyeurism.
An interactive map of Scouting abuse by Bolt Burdon Kemp (BBK) solicitors showed a need for the Scout Association to ‘do much more’ to protect Scouts from sexual predators, according to The Guardian.
BBK associate Abbie Hickson said: ‘It is important to remember that Scoutmasters who perpetrate sexual abuse against Scouts are by their very nature highly manipulative, secretive, devious and opportunistic.’
She said steps must be taken to prevent sexual abuse at all levels of the organisation.
The Scout movement was accused of exposing children to abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their welfare (stock photo)
BBK reportedly said the number of perpetrators and victims is likely to be higher than the figures available through public records and other documents.
The Scout Association said nothing is more important to it than the safety of young people in its care. A spokesman said: ‘In the UK, we have had over ten million young members since our inception in 1907. We recognise that over that time there have been incidents of abuse. Any abuse of a young person is abhorrent, and we are deeply sorry for anyone who has suffered because of the actions of abusers.’
The sexual assault of one 13-year-old was not included in the BBK analysis because details were reportedly only being made public for the first time.
The victim, now 27, said she was sexually assaulted multiple times by a young Scout leader.
The Crown Prosecution Service did not charge her alleged abuser but she reportedly agreed a £160,000 settlement with the Scout Association last year.
A report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, published last week, considered how institutions in England and Wales failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
It found cases of Scout or Guide leaders sexually abusing children and said at the time they fell outside legal definitions of ‘positions of trust’. But their standing within communities afforded them trust and institutional protection while their roles afforded them high levels of access to children, it said.
The Boy Scouts of America this month reached an $850million (£620million) settlement with around 60,000 victims of child sexual abuse.
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