Police bollox debunked…Northern Ireland police chief is a little too quick to blame porn for an increase in recorded sex crimesPolice bollox debunked…Northern Ireland police chief is a little too quick to blame porn for an increase in recorded sex crimes

Posted: 15 October, 2016 in Police Censorship
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george hamilton Sex crime in Northern Ireland has risen by about 60% in the last six years. The number of reported rapes has reached an all-time high, including cases of stranger rapes which have doubled in the last 12 months.Chief Constable George Hamilton noted that the number of offences investigated by the Rape Crime Unit topped 600 in 2014/15 – up 24% on the previous year; More than 4,700 child abuse referrals were up 23%; And child sex crime, including peer-on-peer offending, is also on the rise.

Hamilton revealed the figures in a written question from the Policing Board. Hamilton goes on to explore some of the reasons for the increase and commented:

Advances in global technology mean that the use and popularity of social media and internet sites has risen at an unprecedented rate over the last 10 years, he adds.

It is difficult to determine what causes sexual violence. A number of recent studies are looking at the possibility of whether interest in extreme pornography might be a factor.

As an illustration, the PSNI have recently dealt with a case where a 16-year-old male claimed to have watched extreme pornography online and believed this to be normal and acceptable behaviour and went on to offend against his partner.

However a Belfast academic has said there is no evidence to link the viewing of pornography, violent or otherwise, with Northern Ireland’s soaring level of sex crime. Dr Graham Ellison of Queen’s University’s School of Law claimed that some academic studies actually suggest that exposure to pornography can even lead to a decrease in sexual offending.

Dr Ellison was reacting to coverage in the Belfast Telegraph after Chief Constable George Hamilton referred to research into whether extreme pornography was linked to sexual violence. In a letter published in the Belfast Telegraph, the criminologist said:

The assertion that watching pornography (whether violent or not) is responsible for a quantitative increase in sexual offences is rather spurious, particularly since no sources were cited to substantiate the remark.

However, there is now a huge volume of data from a range of clinical and social scientific studies to suggest that pornography has either no effect on a person’s behaviour, or that its effects are inconclusive.

Some studies actually suggest that exposure to pornography can even lead to a decrease in sexual offending. Just because ‘common sense’ tells us that something might be true does not actually mean that it is true.

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