BBC Crimewatch host Nick Ross wants to watch Child Pornography
Crimewatch host Nick Ross risks further fury after admitting he would ‘probably’ watch child pornography ‘to see what all the fuss is about’
Nick Ross admits he would ‘probably’ watch child pornography
He also suggested some cultures were more likely to commit certain crimes
Ross was forced to defend himself after a backlash against his new book
Presenter hit back today saying: ‘I am being made to sound as though I am making outrageous comments’
PUBLISHED: 09:03, 3 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:30, 3 June 2013
Former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross has admitted he would ‘probably’ watch child pornography to ‘see what all the fuss is about’.
Mr Ross, 65, provoked outrage last month among campaigners against rape and on social networking sites by appearing to suggest women could ‘aggravate’ their risk of being raped.
He has now admitted his views were likely to get him into ‘hot water’ again after making comments about child pornography, as well as suggesting some cultures were more likely to commit certain crimes.
Speaking at The Telegraph Hay Festival yesterday, he said: ‘I had never seen, until I started working on Crimewatch, child pornography.
‘I think if someone came to me and said: “Would you like to see what all the fuss is about?”, I’m sorry, I probably would say yes.’
He also referred to a study which suggested internet users clicked on links to extreme pornography even if that had not been what they had searched for.
He said he did not believe this meant ‘we’re all awful’.
He also courted further controversy when he said certain crimes were more likely to be committed by some cultures more than others.
He claimed there was no evidence of institutional racism in the police force but said some West Indian communities were more likely to mug people.
Today, Mr Ross hit back at the reports, saying: ‘Once again, I am being made to sound as though I am making outrageous comments.’
In a statement to MailOnline, he said of his comments on child pornography: ‘This was in the context of an academic experiment that showed, against expectations, most people do look at pornography if they stumble across it, even if they were not seeking it.
‘My book quotes many examples of how we believe we are personally immune from things for which we blame others, but that temptation and opportunity are dangers for us all.
‘For the record, I have been shown photos of child pornography by police in the Crimewatch office, so I cannot say I have never seen such images.
‘I have never looked at child pornography in any other context and nor would I wish to.
‘Any report that I said, or think, that it is acceptable to view child pornography is entirely false and defamatory.
‘All such images are crimes against children and any circulation of them perpetuates a dangerous problem.
‘I have devoted much of my career professionally and privately trying to protect people of all ages from crime, and it is highly offensive that anyone might be led to believe I would do anything to endanger children, let alone in indulge in child pornography.’
Referring to his views on crime, he added: ‘Today, as a result of a talk at the Hay Festival yesterday, the impression has been given that I have said different races are likely to commit different crimes.
‘This is wholly untrue. I said that different cultures tend to favour different crimes. Any connection with skin colour is entirely incidental.’
‘I think if someone came to me and said: “Would you like to see what all the fuss is about?”, I’m sorry, I probably would say yes’
– Nick Ross
Mr Ross, who presented Crimewatch from 1984 to 2007, caused a storm of protest last month over comments about rape in his new book.
He likened women who dressed and behaved provocatively to banks storing cash by the front door, or motorists leaving laptops on the back seat of their cars.
He insisted he was not blaming victims – saying ‘No amount of temptation can excuse rape’ – but questioned whether some women chose not to pursue complaints because they felt partly responsible.
In an extract from his new book, published in the Mail on Sunday, he said: ‘Rape victims were once treated appallingly, as though it was all their fault, but have we now gone too far the other way?
‘Many of the victims seem to think we have. The main argument of my book is this: we can aggravate crime by tempting fate, and we curb it by playing safe.
‘We have come to acknowledge it is foolish to leave laptops on the back seat of a car. We would laugh at a bank that stored sacks of cash by the front door. We would be aghast if an airport badly skimped on its security measures.
‘Our forebears might be astonished at how safe women are today given what throughout history would have been regarded as incitement.
‘Not even in the licentious days of Charles II in the 17th Century was it acceptable for women to dress as provocatively as they have done in Western culture since the 1960s. Equally they would be baffled that girls are mostly unescorted, stay out late, often get profoundly drunk and sometimes openly kiss, grope or go to bed with one-night stands.’
Mr Ross said the Mail on Sunday had misquoted him in its headline, which said ‘Not all women are victims and not all rape is rape’, but said the edited extract was fair.
Mr Ross said the book was ‘serious, carefully researched and evidence-based’ and an attempt to have a reasoned debate about a sensitive subject.
He told the Daily Mail: ‘Of course I do not compare a woman to a laptop. That is nothing short of misrepresentation of my message.
‘What I am saying is that opportunity and temptation are key factors in all crimes, and so far as the evidence goes sex crimes are no exception.
‘Far from blaming people my book says we are too quick to blame, and that it tends to distract us from finding solutions to crime.’
Speaking yesterday Mr Ross urged critics to read his book ‘Crime and How to Solve It, and Why So Much of What We’re Told is Wrong’.