The Tele has taken the Our Kids Need Justice fight to the streets.
Having launched our campaign last year we have seen perverts caught targeting children – only to escape custodial penalties time and time again.
In the long term we’re aiming to put pressure on the powers that be to bring in mandatory jail sentences for perverts when it reviews sentencing guidelines.
Several Tayside MSPs have agreed that the rules governing sentencing need a review.
Currently, there are no official guidelines for sexual offences.
As part of a review into how sentences are dispensed the Scottish Sentencing Council (SSC) was established in 2015 to create consistent guidelines for certain types of crime.
Moreover, the SSC is set to develop guidelines specifically relating to sexual offences.
Pushing to ensure these guidelines include explicit custodial penalties for child sex offenders is our goal.
As part of our ongoing campaign the Tele has launched a petition which we hope will see the issue debated in parliament.
We took to the streets of Dundee with a print copy of our petition to gather more signatures.
Many of you stopped in the city centre to sign it and spoke publicly in support of it.
Grandmother Christine Petrie said: “I would never want anything like this to happen to my grandchildren.”
North East resident Paul Shaw, 60, added: “I don’t think anyone who commits offences against young children should escape a prison sentence. It is a heinous crime.”
Stacy Aston, 41, from Arbroath, was to the point when asked why she signed the petition. She said: “I’ve got kids – it’s as simple as that.”
And some also felt that those convicted of child sex offences were receiving lenient sentences compared to others convicted of less serious crimes.
Lisa Ramsay, 29, from Kirkton, said: “I think people tend to get jail for things like shoplifting and all the beasts seem to get community service.
“How is that right that they get the jail but the beasts don’t? It’s not right for them to be walking the streets when there’s lassies about.
“It feels like they’re getting away with it if they don’t get the jail – you could be walking right past them in the street.”
We launched the campaign to lock up people who prey on our children 10 months ago and on Monday we launched our petition – which has already accumulated more than 2,000 signatures.
Last month, West End sex offender Charles Gowans avoided jail despite having sexually assaulted a child in front of the boy’s mother.
And in recent days Alan Low, of Barnhill, dodged a jail term despite being caught with hundreds of vile images of child abuse of the worst kind.
MSPs have thrown their weight behind the petition.
Dundee MSP Joe FitzPatrick said child sexual exploitation leaves a “devastating impact on victims and their families”.
And Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said “soft-touch” sentencing “frustrates” people who just want to protect their children.