The Tele petition urging mandatory jail terms for people convicted of a sexual offence involving children has smashed the 10,000 barrier.
And it has received another boost as one of Scotland’s leading child abuse campaigners threw his weight behind the call.
Dave Sharp signed our petition and backed the Our Kids Need Justice campaign.
He runs the group Seek And Find Everyone Abused in Childhood (Safe) and believes the Tele petition can help raise even more awareness.
Dave is also hopeful there can at last be a breakthrough regarding the way paedophiles are treated in Scotland.
He said: “In the last 20 years I have been campaigning for justice for victims and survivors of abuse in Scotland.
“I have seen and spoken to hundreds of people who have told us they were abused in childhood.
“No one knows more than us the word on the street and we hear from survivors and the general public about the lack of effort by local authorities to be seen to be doing more to create an environment where people can feel safe enough to come forward.
“Many people tell us they have no faith in the police or the politicians and more and more we are hearing from people who are now simply saying ‘what is the point if my abuser is just going to get off or gets a fine?’.
“It’s one thing to say that more sex offenders are in prison now than ever before but the fact of the matter is we are now dealing with a massive increase in the number of sex offenders and part of the reason for that has to be down to the lenient sentencing that exists in Scotland.”
MSPs for the area have also praised the Tele for reaching its goal of 10,000 signatures.
Dundee East MSP Shona Robison said: “Well done to the Evening Telegraph for reaching more than 10,000 signatures – it continues to help shine a light on this important and emotive issue.
“As I have said previously, I welcome the Sentencing Council prioritising the development of sentencing guidelines on sexual offences.
“I believe the best way forward is to establish guidelines that help deliver consistency in sentencing, that deliver justice and that better protect victims, as well as ensuring that we protect the independence of the judiciary.”
North East MSP Liam Kerr added: “The incredible public response to the Evening Telegraph’s petition shows the widespread depth of feeling about Scottish justice as it stands.
“There is an obvious, widespread belief that sheriffs aren’t being given the powers to deal with serious offenders.
“Every week I engage with victims of crime and their families who feel let down by the system.
“The SNP have forgotten about the victims in favour of soft-touch justice for offenders.
“But people in Tayside don’t want paedophiles and rapists to enjoy the benefit of automatic parole and shorter sentences.
“So this week I launched a Bill that would give Scottish judges the ability to impose whole-life sentences on the worst violent and sexual offenders.
“This will match the powers given to their counterparts in England.”
It’s not too late to sign the petition and it is still available on our website.
Tele editor Dave Lord said: “It is humbling to have received such great backing for the petition – we will now look to the next step in the Our Kids Need Justice campaign.”