Our Kids Need Justice petition on its way to corridors of power as MSPs praise campaign

The Evening Telegraph is ready to take its petition calling for mandatory jail terms for people convicted of a sexual offence involving children to the Scottish Parliament.

Dave Lord with some of the letters received through the post, backing the Our Kids Need Justice campaign.

Over the past year the Tele has campaigned for automatic jail terms for those who prey on children.

Time and time again since Our Kids Need Justice was launched we have seen perverts escaping the clutches of justice.

In May we started a petition which well over 10 thousand of our readers have now signed.

We have gathered almost 12,000 signatures from all over the UK and Ireland and even from places as far flung as America, Australia, Germany and Belgium.

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Dave Sharp, who runs the Seek And Find Everyone Abused in Childhood (Safe) organisation, said: “I think it is fantastic so many people have come out and made their voices heard.

“For many years the subject of child abuse is something the people of Scotland have turned their backs on but I believe things are starting to change.

“Not only are victims and survivors being heard more but it is so liberating to go on the streets and hear the voice of the public saying enough is enough and they want to see mandatory sentencing.

“People are starting to wake up to the fact there are now many children who are turning to drugs and to homelessness –and the average age of deaths through homelessness and addiction is getting younger and younger. We know a staggering amount of these children were abused in childhood.

“The people of Dundee and Scotland are now starting to get a voice and realise not enough is being done to protect our children. Well done and thank you to the Tele for the hard work in protecting our children.”

Dave Sharp.

Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Liam Kerr MSP said: “It is a great credit to the Tele you have managed to get this petition to this stage.

“It is right MSPs of all parties have been asked to explore the treatment of sex offenders in Scotland, and what can be done to increase public confidence in the justice system.”

Liam Kerr MSP.

Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison said: “Well done to the Evening Telegraph for reaching more than 11,000 signatures and for now bringing this important and emotive issue to the attention of the Scottish Parliament.

“I believe the best way forward is to establish guidelines that help deliver justice, consistency in sentencing and better protection for the victims, as well as ensuring we protect the judiciary’s independence.”

Dundee City East MSP Shona Robison.

Tele editor Dave Lord said: “The number of signatures we have received in such a relatively short space of time has been extraordinary and far outweighs what one might normally expect, which shows the strength of feeling regarding this issue.

“The results of our petition are unequivocal and people are determined to secure change.

“Paedophilia is utterly abhorrent and prison is the only appropriate sentence for anyone found guilty.

“No ifs, no buts – the only way to send out a clear, unambiguous message to would-be offenders is to demonstrate society will not accept this kind of offending.

“We would call upon the politicians to heed the collective voice of our readers when it comes to this important matter.

“Sentencing guidelines are currently under the microscope – this generation of politicians has it in their gift to make a real difference for the communities they represent.”

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