14/01/2013 Newsnight Scotland


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five years the age of 68 might not On Newsnight Scotland: at what


point would you take action if you thought a child was being sexually


abused? After Jimmy Savile, many across the United Kingdom will have


a wish that they acted sooner than they did. Now one Scottish charity


says, if you are suspicious, act immediately. How do you safeguard


children whilst avoiding the risk of making false accusations? And,


remembering the Great War. How should we commemorate next year,


indeed, should we commemorate at all?


Looking back, lots of people acknowledge that Jimmy Savile was


creepy and probably up to no good. If they reported him earlier, who


knows? A terrible episode in Our national life and one that the


NSPCC want to learn from. If they have started a campaign encouraging


people to report their concerns even if they are not certain. But


surely that has its own dangers. It was a life lived in the


showbusiness spotlight. Bickley of celebrity blinded millions to the


truth that Jimmy Savile was a predatory sex offenders. The


majority of his victims were children. Plenty of people had a


day suspicions but the presenter ultimately went to his grave,


unpunished. One by one allegations came to light and recriminations


were widespread as people struggled to comprehend how his crimes


remained undetected. One consequence of the publicity


surrounding the Jimmy Savile scandal is heightened awareness


about child sexual abuse. There may be a willingness to do more but for


many people, acting upon suspicions that they may have by reporting


them to police and others an authority is a bad step to take.


That reluctance is the target of a new campaign by the NSPCC but a TV


advert which builds ambiguously The children's charity say that


calls to their helpline are on the up but more than half of those who


do Kohl have taken over a month to report their concerns. The message,


do not wait until you are certain. When there are strong indications


that something isn't right, people's guts tell them, this child


is being abused. But something else says, what if I am wrong? And


concerned about what might be the impact on the child. They are


worried about what the backlash might be for the accused. They


worry about all these things. On Radio Scotland this morning, in


sight from one victim. He was a pal of the community. He


would tell all sorts of people, old people, DIY, -- help people,


charities, but behind closed doors, he was a very clever, manipulative,


horrible man. The NSPCC say that there had the


nature of the problem means it is under reported. -- the head in


nature. The police agree. It is quite widespread, although


that is not to say it happens in every family, most children are


brought up in a caring, loving environment. But there is a small


yet significant number with abuse takes place and the impact that has


on their lives is tremendous. The worry for some is that high


profile cases involving the sexual abuse of children are responsible


for whipping up hysteria. The message from the charity sits


uneasily with this lawyer. At a time when there is stories in


the media like the Jimmy Savile won the risk is that as well as genuine


cases you get people reporting things mistakenly or maliciously


that are untrue. Yet they can cause serious repercussions for the


individuals who are accused. Such is the stigma that the wisdom


of anonymous helplines is also being questioned.


If you don't know who is making the allegation it is hard to know if


you should give it weight a kid at seriousness. The default position


will be that any allegation as treated seriously. -- give it


weight or afford it seriousness. But my concern is an innocent


person being wrongly accused of something like this then been


unable to escape the consequences of the allegation being made.


One of the most disturbing episodes in national life has prompted us to


ask how to protect society's vulnerable. A difficult question


and no answers -- easy answers. I am joined by a representative of


the NSPCC, and in Edinburgh, a social work consultant. Has this


campaign emerged from the ashes of the Jimmy Savile scandal? Is it a


reaction? There is a feeling that very few people acted over Jimmy


Savile. The Jimmy Savile case, the


appalling facts that have been on cover, have no doubt created a


climate where people are asking questions. -- uncover. But it


struck a chord in all sorts of ways. People abused by Jimmy Savile


decades ago and unable to speak about it we're able to speak about


it. Others who suffered unrelated abuse also felt able to speak about


it. That raised the issues more widely in the country and we hope


very much that this can be a watershed, that we can see our way


to protecting children better in the future.


You had a tremendous up lift and calls.


Yes. People can call our helpline when they are not sure. Over


councillors will talk through with them. Where the belief that a


serious concern, they will pass the details on, but only when they is


serious concern. Do you understand the response of


the charity in the wake of the Savell allegations? -- Jimmy Savile.


I am all for protecting children, that is not really what my concerns


about. But there is a danger that more heat than light is being


generated by children's charities in particular, around the issue of


child sexual abuse. If there are real dangers with calls to report


any and every concern and suspicion to the authorities. To what end? Do


we know that this will protect more children or protect children? Might


it do more harm than good? The public are not stupid and the 80%


that the NSPCC seemed to be critical of four or not reporting


concerns immediately had very legitimate worries about doing so.


One of them was whether they could trust at any good would come for


the child. Are you accusing the charities of


creating moral panic? There are elements of moral panic,


especially as every day brings a new story about the sexual abuse of


children. Which is a problem... I want to pick up on that point.


Moral panic or well intentioned? Abuse is hugely under reported. The


most extensive study showed that children who are abused sexually in


childhood, 72% will not tell anybody during childhood, and many


of them won't say anything as an adult. So there is a huge problem


and children are not been protected at the moment.


We hear about the tremendous under- reporting of abuse from the police,


is acting on suspicions not a way to address that?


I quite accept that there is under reporting but that once the case


much more for information, education, advice. Rather than the


call to simply report. Who are we reporting to you? Who are the


experts that know what to do? I want to pick up on that point. In


England they it Crown Prosecution Service actually apologised for not


picking up any prosecutions. What we are saying is serious


concerns. People know when something is wrong with a child.


They know how an adult behaves when profoundly disturbed. These are


concerns we're talking about. We are saying to people, you may well


hesitate because you are not absolutely certain, but the nature


of sexual abuse is such that abusers will go to extraordinary


lengths to conceal what they are doing. Be a very good at convincing


the children it is their fault and they will get into trouble for


telling anybody. So we really need adults to stand up. Put yourself in


the child's shoes. What would they expect you to do? That is the


question you should ask yourself. Would you have fate than the


authorities once the report is made? -- faith in the authorities?


No, but not because I think they are malevolent. Sometimes the


result is not good. The idea of experts that we can just be a


everything up to, and somehow there is a magic solution, that is not


right. I want to pick up another point.


Malicious allegations being made, some people could use that as a cue.


How can people be protected? There is a difference between


acting to protect a child and making an accusation against


somebody else. There is a difference between a criminal


proceeding and an intervention to make sure that a child is safe and


well. Child protection has improved in this country. The police, social


workers, the handle this as sensitively as they can. The NSPCC


Do you think there should be no anonymous tips? I think he is right,


what a hot lines to a helpful, they allow people to discuss concerns so


I would say to people that if they are concerned and in need as source


of advice they should vote for help line because they can be useful.


Where to help lines then say that in reporting rather than discussing


your concerns and finding a way forward for that child and for the


better protection of children, where there are saying report,


report, a report, we have a situation where if an adult


particularly a man sees a child lost in the street they tell us,


this is a statistic, that they would be scared to help that child.


Now, many of the thousands of war memorials across Scotland are set


to be renovated or restored to commemorate the country's losses in


the Great War, which started a hundred years ago next year. The


Scottish government is allocating a million pounds to the project. It


is one of several ways the war will be remembered. And of course, last


year, David Cameron gave details of how the British government intends


It has long been recognised that Scotland made it a sacrifice in the


Great War which was disproportionate to the size of its


population. The First Minister at chose their Aberdeen Show at


village here to make the announcement today. 67 names are on


this memorial. They're just from this part of the parish. As far as


you can estimate that was one fifth of the young fighting aged men. If


you think about that and you know that the casualty rate was almost


twice the mortality rate, then probably half of the young fighting


men of this village were either killed or injured in the Great War.


This is one of the first initiatives have a great number


we're going to make, we want to make sure that all memorials in


Scotland are in good condition. As good as the highly commended


memorial here. Although many are in this sort of condition, many others


it could do with a bit of upkeep. So that we can commemorate the


extraordinary events in respectful fashion. The Scottish Government's


initiative is additional to plans announced by the UK Government.


David Cameron launched his ideas last October. Whether it is a


series of friendly football match as to mark the truce, or another


campaign from the Royal British Legion with their iconic poppies,


adding should get out there and make this centenary a truly


national moment which mean something in every locality in our


country. Some people have questioned if it is appropriate to


hold a major commemoration but the start of the conflict rather than


to wait for the centenary of the Armistice in 20 team. -- in 2018.


I am joined now by Stuart Crawford, a former officer with the Royal


Tank Regiment. He is in our Edinburgh studio. And I am joined


in Glasgow by Professor Murray Pittock, vice-principal of Glasgow


University. Was that the sheer scale the losses that meant this


conflict is embedded in our national consciousness? You're


absolutely right. To pick up a point from the First Minister, if


you exclude Commonwealth dead in the British Total of dead was


886,000. The Scottish National War Museum -- memorial in Edinburgh


Castle has 180,000 names. 17 or 18% of the casualties were Scottish.


The impact was enormous. Should be commemorate the beginning of this


conflict rather than the end of it? In a way that is a bit questionable


and I can see the reasons for objections. In World War and to be


generally commemorate the beginning of the end of the war. -- World War


II. World War I was a moment when a huge amount of your it was caught


up in a fervour which I think we would want to avoid happening ever


again. On the other hand it is the beginning of a period of you


sacrifice. Especially for Scotland as we have been hearing, it it was


unparalleled. We can see both sides of the argument and it is strange


to commemorate the beginning in some ways. Should national


commemoration start with the Great War or on Armistice Day? The Great


War is the first time that warfare in general became known to the bulk


of the jet at -- bulk of the population. Before that British


wars were mostly abroad with a small professional army. With their


Great War or after 1914 we have the Volunteer movement and after that


we had conscription. In many ways it was the first war in which the


whole population became involved. The commemoration will come in 20th


August 14. That is in the midst of the referendum campaign. -- in 2014.


It will it be help sensitively. but I do not think we can make


comments on the politics. One thing I hope will be remembered and does


not just a UK or Scottish thing, is the extent to which British forces


from the British Empire what not just across the world but on the


Western Front. We are prone to forget the sacrifices of Australia,


New Zealand and Canada and India and troops of other nations. Even


more than World War II it was a British Imperial War or and so in a


sense it is not just about Britain, or Scotland, it is about the whole


of the imperial nations as they then were. To take it as an Anglo-


Scottish thing would do an injustice to all the people from


across what became the Commonwealth. What kind of a European dimension


could there be involving Germany, perhaps? I think that in the spirit


of the Christmas truce which has gone down in history as being an


interesting and unusual event, I think there's all sorts of scope


orange all -- for involving former allies and adversaries in the


celebrations. There we can look at the great sacrifice his of previous


generations. Bringing in a European dimension would be very appropriate


as 100 years approach. It was a very different sense of celebration


for the 50th celebration in London in 1995. The First World War as


viewed very differently, isn't it? There is no doubt about that. With


the hindsight of everyone that fought in it, they are all dead


effectively, it was a war that was justified and said it -- -- it was


not a war that was justified, it was an appalling conflict. The way


we look back at it is bound to be different but it shaped our modern


world and that is what we should remember. But you for joining me.


Now a quick look at tomorrow's front pages. Millions will lose out


in the pensions shake-up say the Herald. And HMV is in


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