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Banned for being single

(181 Posts)
sunseeker Mon 10-Nov-14 09:15:57

A local amusement park has banned a man from going to see a falconry display because he is a single person. This park does have attractions aimed at children, like an adventure playground, and I can understand excluding single people from this area, but it also has other attractions, including a restaurant, which adults can enjoy. This ban is against all single adults, male and female.

Their reasoning for banning him is for child protection, which is why I could understand the exclusion from the play area, but a blanket ban on all single people is, I believe, over the top.

vampirequeen Mon 10-Nov-14 09:24:34

That is totally wrong. It suggests that all single people are a danger to children. Where does the ban stop? I was single ...not allowed. Married....allowed. Single again.....not allowed. Married again.....allowed. I'm the same person whether married or single.

Does this company think that only single men and women abuse children?

Someone needs to make a formal complaint about them to the equal opportunities commission.

glammanana Mon 10-Nov-14 09:27:16

I can understand the exclusion from a play area also but total ban is way over the top,so your partner is unwell and you want to watch an exhibition of falconry and you are not allowed to go on your own or you fancy a meal etc or a glass of wine and cannot be admitted because you are on your own ?

Iam64 Mon 10-Nov-14 09:29:10

I read this news as well sun seeker and felt it was over the top. On reflection though, I wonder if the park, or other parks in that chain, have been targeted by pedophiles. There is ample evidence that these (mostly) men target children's play areas, swimming pools, leisure parks etc etc. Perhaps the park is trying to ensure it can't be sued in the event of an incident. The idea of banning single people from one are of a park would be difficult to enforce.

It's depressing that so many men (and some women) are sexually aroused by, and attracted to children. The information coming to light about the huge numbers of people viewing pornographic images of children on line tends to confirm the incidence is higher than we'd feared.

Iam64 Mon 10-Nov-14 09:30:27

x posted with vampire and glamma - be very interested to see what others think. What about single parents/carers, are they to be banned as well. That would surely hit some kind of equality legislation.

sunseeker Mon 10-Nov-14 09:33:08

Iam64 - single adults with children are allowed in, as are two adults together, its just a single person who is banned, which doesn't make sense. What is to stop two pedophiles attending the park together?

Jane10 Mon 10-Nov-14 09:36:44

I know this sounds tough but really children`s activities ARE a magnet for paedophiles. I know this through my professional life. Take a look around at most obvious children`s activities. I do and often spot men on their own just watching the children. I tend to give them hard stares so they know they`ve been noted. I know its a generalisation and its very tough on the multitude of perfectly decent people. I reckon its another layer of innocent people suffering from the intentions if not (thankfully) the actions of people who have sexual inclinations towards children. Its a horrible side of life.

Charleygirl Mon 10-Nov-14 09:39:55

I think that I would definitely make a formal complaint-I do not think it is reasonable to have no access to the restaurant. Can one visit today with children and then be banned next week if on one's own? Are the powers that be aware that some married men and I assume women, are paedophiles.

nightowl Mon 10-Nov-14 09:48:53

I think this is completely crazy. What are we teaching our children and grandchildren? That all adults are to be feared? They are no more at risk from paedophiles now than they ever were, and the risks from a stranger are tiny. It makes me really angry and I wonder what kind of world we are creating for future generations.

Iam64 Mon 10-Nov-14 09:53:39

Jane10 is right when she says children's activities are magnets for pedophiles. It's easy to react by criticising this, and I understand people feeling uneasy.

I imagine that the park has reviewed its responsibilities to customers, and is doing what it can to limit the opportunities for paedophiles to gain access to children on its premises.

Apologies for the spelling of pedophiles - my computer insists on the US spelling

nightowl Mon 10-Nov-14 10:03:52

But this is hysteria Iam - we cannot keep our chidren in isolation to protect them from the tiny risk that a paedophile will what? Target them? Abduct them from a play park when they are with parents or grandparents? It's like telling women not to go out at night for fear they will be raped. The fear we are instilling in our children and grandchildren is doing so much harm and the danger is that they are never allowed to take risks and therefore never learn to look after themselves.

vampirequeen Mon 10-Nov-14 10:29:12

It's not just children's activities are a magnet for paedophiles. They will go anywhere they can see children. If we're saying this then wouldn't it be better to ban children from leaving the house as a they can be viewed by a paedophile in the street, at the local shops, outside schools, in libraries in fact anywhere they go. So lets lock them up. Hang on though, a lot of paedophiles access children in their own homes. Hmm how to keep them safe? I know....lock them in one room and feed them through a slot in the door. Of course we'll have a generation of warped and damaged young people but they'll be safe from paedophiles.

Wouldn't it be better to teach our children about stranger danger, give them the freedom to develop safety skills and social skills, stop wrapping them in cotton wool and letting them live.

Before anyone tells me the world is a more dangerous place these days. I was abused up to the age of 5 or 6 by a paedophile who was a trusted neighbour/friend/almost part of the family. The world hasn't become anymore dangerous (although I admit they need to be more aware of traffic) the media have simply convinced us it has. Sadly children have always been abused, beaten and murdered. It's better to teach them ways to protect themselves such as stranger danger, telling if something happens that bothers you, kicking and screaming if someone in the street tries to persuade you to go with them....all the ways adults would use to protect themselves.

whenim64 Mon 10-Nov-14 10:32:51

We don't know where this park is situated. If there is a nearby hostel that accommodates sex offenders who are attracted to children, this might be a reasonable risk management arrangement that has been agreed with police and probation. Testing the ban by applying scenarios that undermine it is all very well, but if it is a park that has been targeted by known paedophiles, they should be supported in their decision. The arguments that are being put forward - what if this or that? - are the very arguments that untreated paedophiles challenge the authorities with, instead of accepting that their unwanted behaviour has caused such a rule to be implemented. When I was responsible for supervising such offenders in the community, one of the most common reasons for recalling them back to prison was because they had breached the prison licence condition 'not to enter parks or other localities where children play.'

nightowl Mon 10-Nov-14 10:39:43

Exactly vampirequeen.

Ana Mon 10-Nov-14 11:10:27

We do know where the leisure park is, when. It's Puxton Park near Weston-Super-Mare.

Ana Mon 10-Nov-14 11:14:50

'Puxton Park claimed the rule, which is explained in the small print on its website, was "in line with all other parks".'

whenim64 Mon 10-Nov-14 11:16:53

Sorry, didn't mean the geographical location, Ana - I meant how the park relates to provision of accommodation for offenders in that area. They won't want vigilantes carrying placards outside hostels so unlikely to identify why there are concerns, but there is obviously something that has triggered the need to step up safeguarding of children there.

Ana Mon 10-Nov-14 11:19:23

They say the ban has been in place for the seven years the park's been open, in line with other leisure facilities, so it's not a new policy.

It seems the restriction is only mentioned in very small print in the prices section of their brochure.

whenim64 Mon 10-Nov-14 11:20:39

Just looking online and I see that groups of parents have complained publicly about bail hostels accommodating paedophiles in Weston-super-Mare over the last few years, hence this policy.

vampirequeen Mon 10-Nov-14 11:21:25

I'm not a fan banning people or of the local community being told where known paedophiles live because this gives a false sense of security. Parents are much more likely to tell a child to avoid a particular person or people and then assume they're safe.

Children need to know that dangerous people can be anywhere. Not in a way that simply scares them but in a way that makes them aware that 'nice' people are not always trustworthy people and teaches them what to do if they feel uncomfortable with someone. I taught my girls the golden rules....don't wander off with anyone, I will never send a stranger to collect you no matter what he/she says and if you're worried shout as loudly as possible, "He's not my dad/She's not my mum!" as causing a commotion and attracting attention is often all that's needed in that situation. The final thing I taught them was where to hit a man if all else failed. Hit hard and run to the nearest shop, place where there were more people etc. As parents in the area we also arranged 'safe houses' where, if they were scared or worried about anything when out, they could just walk in without knocking.

Life would be easier if a paedophile looked like a sleazy guy in a dirty raincoat but it's not like that. They can be a parent, favourite aunt or uncle, a grandparent, in fact any family member, a family friend, a doctor, a teacher, a coalminer, a nursery name it. A paedophile looks just like anyone else.

Ana Mon 10-Nov-14 11:34:25

Just thinking...would the park allow a couple of men in? Surely if the policy is known locally, teaming up with another like-minded person would be the obvious thing to do. Or it could be a couple of women, or one of each sex.

I can see the point of the ban, but it does seem to be just paying lip-service to those who are concerned about paedophiles in the area, as there are ways round it for a determined offender.

Mishap Mon 10-Nov-14 11:48:05

Who'd be man!? - it must be so hard to be guilty until proven innocent - what a world we live in. It makes me very sad. All these millions of perfectly normal single men who have a suspicion hanging over them. What a shame.

This does not mean that I do not understand the importance of child protection.

janeainsworth Mon 10-Nov-14 12:03:52

This question seems to come into Eloethan's Can You See Both Sides of an Argument? thread.

Yes I can see the need for Child Protection.
But what is concerning me is that all single people are being demonised.
And if these known paedophiles are actually a risk to children, what are they doing being allowed to walk the streets anyway?

Measures have to be proportionate to risk. I think a more appropriate risk management strategy would be to stipulate that all children under the age of say 10, are accompanied by an adult, or to have leisure park staff patrolling the place so that anyone with ulterior motives would be deterred.

Ana Mon 10-Nov-14 12:24:08

Puxton Park actually requires that all 'children under the age of 17' be accompanied at all times by an adult. I've been looking at their website!

vegasmags Mon 10-Nov-14 12:34:28

I can't see that such a ban makes children any safer. I'm sure that paedophiles would find a way to get around such a rule and there is a risk that single men and women end up being demonised as jane says. My local park, with a well used playground, is a short cut to the shops - am I to now go the long way round in case I am seen as a threat? Our park keepers are now a thing of the past, but if resurrected, would they have to patrol in pairs?

This seems to me a panic measure designed to make people feel safer, but without any supporting evidence that it would work.