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Paedophiles in the community: Inter-agency conflict, news leaks and the local press

This article explores the leaking of confidential information about secret Home Office plans to house convicted paedophiles within a local community (albeit inside a prison). It argues that a politics of paedophilia has emerged in which inter-agency consensus on the issue of ‘what to do’ with high-profile sex offenders has broken down. Accordingly, the article situates newspaper ‘outing’ of paedophiles in the community in relation to vigilante journalism and leaked information from official agencies. The article then presents research findings from a case study of news events set in train following a whistle-blowing reaction by Prison Officers’ Association officials to Home Office plans. Drawing from a corpus of 10 interviews with journalists and key protagonists in the story, the article discusses both the dynamics of whistle blowing about paedophiles and also what happens after the whistle has blown.

Key Words: inter-agency conflict • local press • news leaks • paedophiles in the community • vigilante journalism ..more.. by Simon Cross, University of Lincoln, UK,

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