The Scouting Paradigm is just a shorthand way of thinking about how multiple abusers might be able to infiltrate an organisation, it does not only apply to scouting but that was the example that was used by one of the Needleteam when it was proposed about 18 months ago.
I should just say that, as in every institution that predatory paedophiles target like care homes, boarding schools, and the church, the overwhelming majority of adults involved in scouting are not paedophiles.
To begin with there has always been a shortage of adults willing to run and help organise scouting groups, this means that it is easier to become a scout leader than to become a boarding school teacher for example. Once a predatory paedophile has infiltrated a scouting troop he is then able to recruit other predatory paedophiles that he knows of. He will do this for two reasons.
The first reason is that by recruiting a fellow predatory paedophile he will be assured that he will not be informed on by another adult in that closed environment.
The second reason is that if the child were to complain to someone outside of that environment then he can be assured of an alibi. It is hard enough for a child suffering abuse to convince other adults that he is being abused when it is his word against an adult but it is virtually impossible if one or more other adults give the paedophile an alibi.
One of the first jobs of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse must do is to compel, once the inquiry has been made statutory as I expect it to be, the Scout Association to pass over the details of every allegation of child abuse that has been made. It must also cross reference the names of those alleged to have abused in other institutions, the care homes, boarding schools, and the church, as well as all those conviction of a sexual offence against children, with the entire list of adults that have been involved in Scouting.
It might look like a big undertaking but a clear vision of what information the panel need to get their hands on and an intelligent use of modern computer and programming technology will make it far easier than it might first appear. The heavy lifting by the CSA Inquiry will be done by data crunching like this.
In the meantime, the Scout Association should ‘Be Prepared’ for what will certainly be unearthed.
More than 50 people have instructed solicitors over historical abuse claims against the Scout Association since the Jimmy Savile scandal emerged, the BBC has learnt.
The association and individual scoutmasters have also paid £897,000 in damages, lawyers for the claimants say.
One MP urged an inquiry into failures to pass records of abuse to police.
The Scout Association disputed the figures, but said it was “deeply sorry” for anyone hurt by abusers’ actions.
It added the safety of young people was its “number one priority”.