Deterrence the only way
Stephanie Daly was right when she said you cannot possibly protect every child from predators, rapists and murderers... for such acts have less to do with deterrence in the form of extra policing, legislation or children’s committees and the like and more with the “thinking” of such would-be criminals.
Granted that the above may help to deter in the short term, but if even all such strategies were fully operational, the predator’s compulsion to kill, to rape, to maim would fulfil itself, irrespective.
Such criminal compulsion is a “head” thing , an addiction, a disease, a fever in the blood which the “externals” above may check, but will they be able to protect the innocent seemingly in the care of a “parent”, somewhere in the darkness of the night or in the isolation of a remote, one -room apartment? Terrible as it may sound, the reality is that the present crop of predators cannot be stopped except perhaps by the stringent deterrence strategies proposed, which means that the planning must be long term for the future generations. Behaviours of the kind described above will need a 100,000 word thesis to try and explain the multiple facets involved, but such behaviours reflect two fundamentals, firstly, a basic form of irrationality, and secondly, its concomitant lack of an equally basic humanity.
Such irrationality which defies all reason and good sense is likely to emerge from the psychologies of drug addiction which is complemented by the frustration and consequent depression resulting from “survival” deficiencies of one kind or another. The inhumanity which such behaviours reflect is tied into that irrationality for the components of your humanity, such as conscience and remorse, have no place in an irrational mind. It means then that even as we hope for some deterrence in the short term from the measures above, for the long term we can only rely on a values-oriented home, a school which teaches critical thinking to enable intelligent choices and emphasises the humanities and its related human virtues, and of course State support in the alleviation of poverty and unemployment.
Other measures, probably effective in the short term, can only be plasters for a deep, enduring wound or like spinning top in mud!
Dr Errol Benjamin