Why Victims Regard Anti Grooming Training a Life Skill

Why Victims Regard Anti Grooming Training a Life Skill

Opinion piece in response to article written by Donna-Lee Biddle, a Waikato social issues journalist for the Stuff NZ.


The role of the media in reporting on matters involving child sex abuse has long been seen in a positive light by some, in that it helps to bring matters to public attention thereby helping to deter future offending. Others feel that it works against the offender when the time comes to reintegrate. It can be a difficult subject to balance; and not all countries are the same.

The US are going to name all paedophiles as such in their passports and have an open registry, Indonesian offenders are to face chemical castration or execution. Australia is going to introduce another registry where all offenders will be named and shamed. In the UK recently a woman was charged with breaking the data conditions relating a Sarah’s Law disclosure from the Sex Offenders Register, her case was dropped!

Helping sex offenders is controversial, and although not all Psychologists can agree on the best way to help them, there is no doubt in my mind it can prevent more abuse. The forensic clinicians working with offenders ultimately seek to minimise the risk of reoffending and aim to keep the community safe. It is not a job most of us would want to do, me included. However, as an internationally recognised expert in the monitoring and management of sex offenders in the community, something which I have received awards for, this story raises some very real concerns.

I am a New Zealander, and if all identifying features were removed from this article, I think I could have guessed it was a case from NZ. Apart from a small sentence at the end from Child Matters CEO, where was the victim’s voice? Without doubt the story brings the dangers to the public’s attention, but I can’t help feel that the story was all about the offender and did not grasp the real risks that were contained within it.

Great store was set by both Middlebrook and Dr Tamatea that Middlebrook and the community will be safe as strategies were in place for whilst at the club. But the fact is his offending did not take place at a club. More about this later, but the club was an environment which was part of Middlebrook’s grooming process to gain access to the child. So, parents, guardians, and whanua present is a very good thing, but it cannot be ignored that the previous offending took place away from a club. It is my opinion and that of other forensic psychologists I know, that offenders who commit their crimes ‘hands on’ will always have the urge to offend, it is just a matter of whether it is controlled or not. ‘Hands on’ is also at the top of the risk table when making assessments. So, to place the offender back into the same environment, one which was part of the grooming process almost beggars belief.

If Middlebrook had been a school teacher, a doctor, nurse or police officer, would any of them been put back to work, back into the same environment after their sentence? As I have been involved in cases involving all those professions, I can say no, that would not be the case. Which sort of brings me to my biggest concern, has the sexual grooming process been fully understood? As the author of a New Zealand specific early identification sexual grooming training package the content of which all comes from peer reviewed papers from the sector, I feel I must speak up.

For those who know, sorry to bore you, but for those who don’t, there are three main parts to the sexual grooming process. One, direct grooming of the child. Two, grooming of the environment. And three, grooming of a significant other. Two and three are undertaken to achieve number one. Clinicians use industry proven risk models to help them assess if a person is of risk, and if so, how high. The information comes from direct questioning between the psychologist and the offender. The problem with this method is that the information comes from a very skilled and accomplished groomer, as all child sex offenders are. Despite the clinician’s best intentions, they are sometimes outwitted, leading to disastrous outcomes. Many in this field will tell you that professionals are the worst at telling if they are being groomed because there is an inherent belief it should not be possible. In all probability parents, guardians or whanua are more at risk to not knowing or understanding the signs of grooming.

Whether Middlebrook has groomed significant others, such as his clinician, the club, the committee, and the parents only time will tell. The problem is, by then it will be too late, and the risk is further compounded by the fact that none of them are trained in anti-grooming skills to know if they have been or are being groomed. As for the environment, Middlebrook has achieved that, he is back where he started, and for me that is an unacceptable and avoidable risk.

Grooming plays a part in all sexual offences and domestic violence, the latter we are unfortunately world leaders in. Anti-grooming training is early intervention. Early intervention saves lives, saves victims, and saves billions of tax dollars further down the line. It is a ‘no brainer’. It is a life skill we are failing to recognise as such.

To the journo’s credit the story itself, is essentially one about offender rehabilitation, and is a minefield. Maybe the purpose was to raise the issue, deter and allow debate, but the story uncovers real risks and I can’t help feeling that it fails to identify them as such. The victims’ voices are placed last when it should be front and centre. If we really want to show we are a country with a government who really cares about its victims, all its victims, all of the time, then I hope that the current justice review is really doing just that and not pretending to do so whilst it unlocks the gates to the prison.

The Dangers of Conning Oneself

The Dangers of Conning Oneself

Opinion piece in response to article written by Sam Sherwood, journalist for the Stuff NZ https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/112414249/roadrage-victim-gave-police-offenders-car-rego--policy-meant-they-didnt-follow-up


As the expected chilly wind blew through Wellington and the Beehive, an excellent piece of investigative journalism was about to hit the front page, the details of which would have already been known to senior police chiefs and most probably the Minister of Police, and therefore the Cabinet. Something killed it dead in the corridors of power and it wasn’t the wind; could it have been that on an international populist stage it just couldn’t stack up to taking your baby to the UN, banning plastic bags, or romantic engagements? Afterall, it is bad news versus good news!

There would have been the ubiquitous defence response from within; that this was of the Police’s own making and they can take the flak for it, no further contagion thanks. The result? Police took to defending themselves pointing the strategic finger elsewhere, using language that fell straight into the empty domestic political space where the omnipresent opposition should have been, but weren’t. Luckily it was caught by the waiting hands of a rare commodity these days, an investigative journo.

So, what is the story? Well, initially it is very straight forward. Female motorcyclist stops to let two elderly people with pedal cycles use a crossing at an intersection in Christchurch. The following car takes offence, driver gets out, violently threatens and abuses the motorcyclist. He drives off. Motorcyclist, who has previously been a domestic violence victim, gets the rego. Driver realises, stops again and follows it up with a second threatening attack. Victim who is reduced to tears, reports the offence to police complete with excellent descriptions, evidence and witness statements.

To the general public who put our politicians in power, this reads as a straight, ‘walk up’ matter for Police, not an urgent matter, but one that needs to be dealt with appropriately. What the victim didn’t know was that Police policy in Canterbury had changed. From one where they dealt with matters of a violent nature, to one of just not dealing with it and closing the case. A policy had evolved which allowed supervising officers to decide what cases to bin, and which would be followed up.

When the victim found out; she thought surely this just cannot be right and contacted the Independent Police Conduct Authority, who, also thought this cannot be right and undertook an investigation. But it was right. Police in Canterbury were just closing files even where there were good leads. The nascent question forming is, why?

With the policy exposed Police fronted up through local management and curiously the Police Federation, hinting at their defence to come. Their rational is that they were over stretched and therefore had to prioritise work. To be fair here to Police, they are seriously unfunded and have been for a great many years, if not always. Any Police media release goes through corporate communications, so it is important to realise that when they said prioritise, they did not mean ‘handling matters relative to their importance’, they meant completely ignoring some crime as if it never happened. Somebody, somewhere, twisted the meaning of ‘prioritise’ and from there it’s a few short steps to the slippery slopes of losing public confidence.

Step one, which should be at the forefront of any crime prevention manager’s thoughts; victims. The victim’s perception of the event is the one that should be placed front and centre. How was this case disposal arrived at? It stinks of a well-known NZ phrase of, harden the **** up. So, you were scared and made to cry, not good enough for a crime in NZ. They have pretended and conned themselves that there is no victim, especially heinous when there are witnesses and evidence. And to try and justify it by saying that they are over stretched demeans policing globally. Forces in both hemispheres have been decimated whilst demands on them have increased hugely. NZ is no different to any other policing service and it is shameful that they have dumped this case because somebody thinks the crime wasn’t serious enough, and then bleat about their own circumstances in an attempt to justify it once exposed.

With the Justice Review currently taking place one can only wonder why there was no immediate fronting up of either the Policing Minister or Andrew Little. It is a national matter, there is only one police service and they have been cooking the books, with victims at the heart of it. If this can’t get their mouths open what will? The issue of stats is a real concern, were screened out crimes eventually recorded as no crimes or as solved crimes? Whichever one it is it has there are problems with conning yourself, one is a knock-on effect with stats, it can make you appear efficient in other categories when that is not the case. You lose track of what reality is, running the risk of placing other innocents at risk.

Step two. Corruption, code of conduct, or prioritising workloads. Which one is it? Well, we already know the definition of prioritising. As an expert in police code of conduct matters, it is my opinion, from the facts published, it would breach at least one of the codes of conduct in New Zealand, all Australian States, and all 42 Police Forces of the UK. The policy was created, owned and authorised by someone. To fob the matter off with, ‘we can only do so much’ and ‘we are stretched’ places the good work done at the thin blue line in real jeopardy. It is those very officers who police by the public’s consent and they need the support and the confidence of the public to do so. The lack of transparent resolution from the IPCA and Police in relation to conduct looks soft and smells of fudge, which can only add further insult to the victim. Cooking the books has never, and will never work, and leads to loss of confidence. As an example, I asked a serving Australian Police Officer to read the article, his immediate reply was ‘That’s just plain corrupt’. Codes of conduct are there for a reason and they will work against you if the public has no confidence in its transparency.

Finally, leadership. The policy involved is a strategic matter and therefore both Police Chiefs and politicians are directly responsible for it being allowed to be in existence underneath them. All senior officers, irrespective of rank, should be operating on a bottom up top down basis, and there is no excuse for not knowing, especially when it is policy and strategy. At a time when we and the world seem to be obsessed with how great and shiny our leader is, it somehow doesn’t sit quite right with this catastrophic failure happening here and now and on her watch.

Just as concerning though, and possibly more, is when a journalist starts to fill the domestic void where the opposition party should be. It’s the adage of ‘the current government is only as good as the opposition’. If our opposition leader can’t hold our current leader to account for grave failures, then it’s just a matter of time until someone else steps forward who is prepared to do so.

Public perception and trust in the police must in of itself be managed and policed as well as earnt. Maybe, with clear and transparent leadership and time, this victim may once again come to trust and have confidence in them. But I for one, I’m not holding my breath.



Press release-Hope Without Borders Chinese Translation project

Ian R. Tyler Announces Launch of Kickstarter Campaign to Translate Hope Without Borders into Chinese – and Fight Child Sex Offenders

A new crowdfunding campaign has been launched to translate the “Hope Without Borders” series into Chinese.  “Hope Without Borders” is an important series of fiction based on fact novels that expose the nature of online child sex abuse and the hard work done to prosecute these criminals and protect children across the world.  With 20% of the world reading Chinese, the translation is vitally important.

August 22, 2016

Child sex abuse is rampant on the internet and touches every nation and culture.  With over 20% of the world speaking Chinese, this makes the fact that there is little information available in Chinese combating this criminal drive frightening.  Author Ian R. Tyler, the man behind the “Hope Without Borders” trilogy, addresses these issues in a real and serious way; hoping to help alert Chinese language speakers to the nature of this threat.  Tyler recently announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to translate the “Hope Without Borders” trilogy into Chinese, as a way to introduce Chinese speakers to the threat posed by child sex offenders online via the fiction based on fact stories, rather than less likely to be read non-fiction exposés or other less appealing methods of learning.

“The ‘Hope Without Borders’ series of novels are inspired by my work in child protection,” commented Tyler.  “These stories are based on real life and very frightening child abuse cases that occur online and are investigated both in the online and real world. The stories depicted in these novels are based on the truth and they serve as both a lesson, and a warning to the world.  With 20% of the world population speaking Chinese I feel it's vital they learn about these crimes and risks, so that Chinese language speakers can protect their families and are inspired to expose these criminals.  Every donation could literally save a child's life.”

According to Tyler, the hard work of finding talented and willing translators has been accomplished, but they are unable to dedicate the time to do the translation without being paid.    This is where the crowdfunding campaign comes in and those interested in helping protect children from international child sex abusers can help.  Even very small donations are greatly appreciated.

The campaign has set a goal of 25,000 NZD to pay the translators and complete the other necessary work needed to come to market with “Hope Without Borders” in Chinese.

The series has won a great deal of praise for its English version both in the US and UK.

Heather C., recently said in a five-star Amazon review of “Hope Arises”, the first book in the “Hope Without Borders” series, “This is a novel about a very difficult and unpleasant aspect of life but is still one that should be told. The child abuse aspect is dealt with sensitively and much is left to the reader to imagine and the main story focuses on the pursuit of the offenders. The international aspect of such crimes is well explained and the author clearly has extensive knowledge of a world which most of us could never imagine. The description of what it is like to work in a police team on Child protection and the stress of trying to catch these abusers is portrayed with such realism you are totally hooked into the unfolding drama. I look forward to the next book and hope that this book is taken up and made into a film so that this story can be told to a wider audience.”

Media, email contact; www.ianrtyler.com

Kickstarter Link; https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hope-without-borders/hope-without-borders-trilogy-by-i-r-tyler-chinese

Kickstarter video link; https://youtu.be/joDv8waA3jM

QCBC announces Chinese translation Kickstarter project

QCBC has launched a Kickstarter translation project to fund the translation of the 'Hope Without Border' series into traditional Chinese, a language that represents 20% of the speaking world. More details will be made available in a press release in the next 24hrs; for now though, the Project can be found here

C.O.C.E.T available on Kindle

QCBC announces that following repeated demands, C.O.C.E.T, the new seat-of-your-pants blockbuster by author Ian R. Tyler will be available on the Kindle platform from 27th March 2016 NZST.

Authors shop open for business!

An author's shop has been added to Ian Tyler's website and it is now live. It provides the capability to buy novels using credit and debit cards. Purchasers through this route will get the option to have the novel signed personally by the author. Shipping rates apply, and are listed in the ordering process.

C.O.C.E.T release more news

The new novel C.O.C.E.T by Ian R. Tyler will be released 28.01.2016 New Zealand time and will be available through Amazon, Copy Press Nelson, NZ, and all good book stores. Shortly after release it will also be available through the authors shop on his website www.ianrtyler.com Any purchased this way will be personally signed by the author. New Zealand postal rates will apply and be advertised.

QCBC releases book trailer

QCBC and author Ian R. Tyler collaborated with Auckland VFX artist Sam Edmonds to make the following video. Check it out! Don't forget, if you want to get these updates and more, then turn your notifications on in Facebook, or save this blog.

Video Link

QCBC and Ruth Money reveal part of the C.O.C.E.T front cover

Ruth Money, private victim advocate, and media guru for QCBC and IR Tyler, says, Hope Arises fans will be pleased to see that C.O.C.E.T characters include Tom Ross, Jane King and Dr. Fiona Gordon, but that it also introduces new ones, as well developing others like Owen Marks and Anna Farley.

She has revealed that the foreword has been written by Jim Gamble QPM, the first CEO of CEOP UK, and, when it was still run as an independent National Child Protection agency. She says, 'This gives authenticity to the story and having now seen a bit more, you just can't make this stuff up!'

The full cover may be released in January a few days ahead of launch, but for now here is a little teaser below. More to come soon.

Video Link

Ruth has more info!-Interview with QCBC

Media guru Ruth says, "I haven't seen the manuscript myself, although I have had a sneak at one chapter, and I have just signed off on the media release, so I know a bit about the story. I will be leaking some details on what I know over the next few weeks."

Ruth further adds, "What I do know, and what is striking about COCET, and that of JK Rowling's latest book, is that they both contain narrative dealing with child abuse. One main difference here though; JK herself stated that her novel called for 'insane' planning. This hasn't been the case in COCET, as it is based on the truth, and therefore is known to Tyler intimately."

Ruth added, "COCET has a foreword written by The Police Chief at the time, (more about that on another blog), which lends credence to the story line. When you take this into consideration, COCET sets itself apart from most crime novels. Other story tellers pull away from the subject of child sex abuse; as do most publishers. Yet it has the dubious distinction of being responsible for the biggest increase in crime in most parts of the globe, let alone New Zealand, where we are one of the worst countries in the world for child abuse"

Ruth signs off with, "I will release part of the book cover next week along with details around the characters new and old. And more about the Police Chief, and what some of the advance reviewers had to say."


Ian R. Tyler releases name of forth coming novel

Ian R. Tyler reveals that the new and soon to be released novel is called C.O.C.E.T
- media manager and marketing guru Ruth Money, says, that the acronym stands for Combined Online Child Exploitation Taskforce- and that it will only be available in paperback to begin with. Ruth says more will be revealed about the book later this week.

I.R.Tyler listed in Writers to Watch in 2015

I.R.Tyler has been named in the writers to watch list for 2015, nominated by Real Marsha Wright, author of #1 Best Selling Book, SecretCollaborativeEconomy.com. Ian has recently featured on Campbell Live NZ and One News NZ providing expert insight and knowledge on paedophile criminal behaviour, and through the eyes of their many victims.

Is this Jades Law?

Rt Hon Ann Tolley, minister for police in New Zealand says, that a disclosure procedure would allow for a partner of an offender to be informed of information if it met the right criteria. Is this beginning of Jades Law in NZ?

NZ Sex Offenders Register

New Zealand Government agrees to suggestions from Ian Tyler and the Sensible Sentencing Trust of NZ and signals an intention to incorporate a disclosure mechanism within New Zealand's Sex Offenders Register. Prior to now they had been adamant it would be fully closed. Ian Tyler applauds Minister Ann Tolley for taking the right course in child protection