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Police Scotland rejects use of 'minor-attracted person' to describe paedophiles

The term was referenced in a Police Scotland report last June, which quoted from documents relating to the establishment of a European consortium to tackle child sexual abuse.

Police Scotland has confirmed that it does not use the term 'minor-attracted person' to describe paedophiles, after the force was criticised for making this reference in a report published last year.

Among those to criticise its use was Scottish National Party MP Joanna Cherry KC, who said the term risked “normalising paedophilia and child abuse”.

Police Scotland denied this intention, stressing that it petitioned for the removal of a term it considers "entirely unacceptable".

The force used this wording in a Police Scotland report published last June, specifically quoting from proposed documents relating to the establishment of a European consortium designed to tackle child sexual abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Faulds, Head of Public Protection for the force, said: "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."

The force released a statement after the reference made in the June report was recently quoted in the media.

DCS Faulds added: “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."

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