Police Scotland denies labelling paedophiles ‘minor-attracted people’ in major report after coming under fire for ‘deeply disturbing’ term
- The term was used in a document assessing its performance during the last year
- Conservatives warned that many would find the language ‘deeply disturbing’
- But Police Scotland has stressed the term was quoted from another group
Police Scotland has denied labelling paedophiles ‘minor-attracted people’ in a major report after it came under fire for the ‘deeply disturbing’ term.
The document, which assessed the force’s performance during the past year, outlined that Police Scotland has been working to support a European project in order to ‘counter the effects of child sexual exploitation’.
Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Faulds, Head of Public Protection for Police Scotland, said: ‘We utterly condemn anyone who commits sexual offences against children, be it individuals or organised paedophile networks, and we work tirelessly to bring them to justice.
‘Police Scotland does not use the term Minor-Attracted Person to describe this type of offender and any suggestion otherwise completely misrepresents our position.
Police Scotland has been slammed for describing paedophiles as ‘minor-attracted people’ in a crucial end-of-year report (file image)
‘The term referenced in a Police Scotland report in June 2022 was quoted from proposal documents for the establishment of the Horizon Project, a European consortium to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation.
‘At the first meeting of the consortium, in Warsaw in September 2022, Police Scotland officers successfully lobbied for the MAP term to be removed from recognised terminology used by more than 20 European partners.
‘Our view was that the term was entirely unacceptable in describing someone either involved in sexual offending against children or who has indecent thoughts towards them.
‘Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit works closely with partners to investigate all reports of child sexual exploitation, identify and apprehend abusers and reduce their opportunity for sexual offending, both physically and in the digital space.’
The report read: ‘This project’s main agenda is to develop understanding and approach to avoid the victimisation of children by engaging Minor-Attracted People (MAPs) and provide them with the necessary support, treatment and guidance to help prevent criminal activities.’
A Scottish Conservative spokesman told MailOnline that many would find language used to neutralise sexual preference for children ‘deeply disturbing and wrong’.
They said: ‘Offences relating to paedophilia are among the most appalling and unforgiveable crimes anyone can commit, and it’s essential that Police Scotland guidance reflects this.
‘Most Scots will find any attempt to soften the language around paedophilia in official guidance to be deeply disturbing and wrong.’
Children’s campaign group UsForThem Scotland also said it was ‘horrified’ by the idea that paedophiles were ‘being rebranded as MAPs’.
A spokesman said: ‘We are seeing ongoing concerning issues relating to child protection both inside and outside school.
‘This is not an acceptable phrase. We should never normalise paedophilia.
‘Imagine if the police normalised rape or murder by rebranding them similarly.’
Outrage broke out on Twitter too, with one user posting: ‘Wake up parents! And anyone who cares about child safe guarding! There’s ‘MAP’-creep going on as I talked about in a recent video! What a disgrace that Police Scotland are calling pedophiles MAP -minor attracted people! How dare you!”
Another added: ‘It is clear that our institutions are taking #bekind too far.’
Despite complaints, a Police Scotland stressed that the force does not use the term ‘minor-attracted people’ in reference to paedophiles.
The force outlined that the reference has been quoted from the proposed agenda of an EU group.
A spokesman said: ‘Police Scotland does not use the term Minor-Attracted Person. The reference in the Assessment of Policing Performance 2021/22 was in relation to our engagement with the Horizon Project EU consortium to tackle Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.
‘The term was used in the commissioning documents for the consortium and it is more commonly used on the continent.
‘Police Scotland representatives successfully lobbied in September for the MAP term not to be used by the consortium.’