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Police chief hits back over paedophile controversy
Audrey Gillan 20th November 2006
A chief constable criticised for allegedly saying that men who had sex with children should not be classed as paedophiles if their victim was aged between 13 and 15 defended himself yesterday.
Chief Constable Terry Grange said that he had been misquoted in an interview in the Sunday Times and that he was referring to sex between teenage boys and girls of that age and "nothing else".
Mr Grange, chief constable of Dyfed-Powys police and spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers on child protection and managing sex offenders, told the BBC that he meant that the term paedophile should be applied to older men who have sex with pre-pubescents. He said it would not be possible to prosecute all boys who have sex with girls who are under 16 but over 12. His views reflected a "grey area".
"I was very specific about what I said to the [Sunday Times] reporter. I was referring to 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds [girls] and teenage boys and nothing else," he said. "If you prosecute each and every time a boy has sex with a girl under 16 and above 12, then we'd be in schools across Britain and youth clubs across Britain pretty regularly because, since I've been alive, it's been pretty normal. It's what teenagers do. The 16 age thing is an artificial barrier that we have in Britain."
In his interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Grange is quoted as saying: "We are talking about very young people when it is paedophilia, and I wouldn't want to mix up kids who are just the wrong side of 16 with paedophiles.
"I don't actually personally adhere to the 15-year-old being with a 20-year-old boyfriend being paedophilia, or even if the boyfriend is 30."
Mr Grange previously courted publicity when he accused the government of bowing to media pressure following its declaration to toughen up the laws on paedophilia.
He accused the Home Office of making "on the hoof" policies after it pledged to toughen the law.
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