Police Scotland says it hasn’t renamed paedophiles as ‘minor attracted people’

31 January 2023
What was claimed

Police Scotland has renamed paedophiles as ‘minor attracted people’.

Our verdict

Despite using the phrase in a report, Police Scotland says it does not use the term to describe this type of offender and that when the phrase was used in a report the force was quoting from documents to establish a consortium on combatting child sexual abuse.

A video being shared on Facebook claims that Scotland has renamed paedophiles “minor attracted people”. While a report produced by Police Scotland did use this term, the force later clarified that it doesn’t use this term for offenders and says it was quoting from proposal documents from a consortium to tackle child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The background of the video shows a screenshot of an article with the headline “Scotland Police Rename Pedophiles As “Minor Attracted People” at Direction of EU”.

The article points to a report from Police Scotland on policing performance which used the phrase “minor-attracted people” instead of paedophiles. 

The report said: “[Specialist Crime Division] Public Protection has engaged in the Horizon Europe Project – Prevention of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The project’s main agenda is to develop understanding and approach to avoid the victimisation of children by engaging Minor-Attracted People (MAPs) and providing them with the necessary support, treatment and guidance to help prevent criminal activities.”

The same two sentences also appeared in a “Standards of Service for Victims and Witnesses” annual report for 2021/22.

The use of this phrase in the policing performance report was also covered by the Telegraph, the Sun, MailOnline and the Independent.

However, in a statement on 31 December, Police Scotland said media reporting had misrepresented their position on the term “minor-attracted person”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Faulds, Head of Public Protection for Police Scotland, said: “Police Scotland does not use the term Minor-Attracted Person to describe this type of offender and any suggestion otherwise completely misrepresents our position.

“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.”

Image courtesy of Kevin.B

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