October 26, 2005

McDowell: Failure to protect children will be criminal offence


26/10/2005 - 10:41:41

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has vowed that failing to take steps to prevent child molestation will be prosecutable as a criminal offence, in line with Ferns Report recommendations.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio today, Mr McDowell said: “There is a suggestion that there should be a new criminal offence relating to engaging in conduct that creates a substantive risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse to a child, or failing to take steps to alleviate that risk, and the report suggests that I should follow that, and I believe that I should.”

Mr McDowell said that anyone in a position to protect children who fails in their duty to do so would be liable to criminal prosecution.

“It means that if you are in a position to stop something happening, and you have the means at your disposal to prevent further damage to children, and you fail wrongly to fail those steps, you don’t make yourself civilly liable to be sued for damages. You commit a criminal offence,” he said.

Posted by kshaw at October 26, 2005 09:33 AM