In Brief

Nick Ross: 'I would probably watch child pornography'

Former Crimewatch host says he'd look at images of child abuse to 'find out what all the fuss is about'

nick-ross.jpg

DAYS after provoking outrage with his outspoken views on rape, former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross has admitted he'd "probably" watch child pornography.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, Ross said humans are naturally inquisitive creatures, an instinct that is unlikely to be suppressed even when the object of their curiosity is as appalling as child porn, the Daily Telegraph reports.

"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," Ross told a festival audience yesterday. As evidence, he referred to a study in which internet users clicked on links to extreme pornography even if they had not searched for it.

"Does this tell us that we're all awful? I think not."

Last week, Ross - who is promoting his book Crime and How to Solve It, and Why So Much of What We're Told is Wrong - sparked outrage by suggesting that "provocatively dressed" women who go out "unescorted" were akin to a bank "storing sacks of cash by the door". He claimed that some victims of sexual assault had gone "too far" by leading men on.

His comments were condemned by women's groups as "provocative, crude and really horrible". Writing in The Guardian, Martin Robbins described the "provocative clothing" myth as complete nonsense and said Ross's views on rape were "not just misguided, but downright dangerous".

Ross, who left Crimewatch in 2007 after 23 years hosting the BBC programme, courted further controversy yesterday by suggesting some races are more likely to commit certain crimes. He denied there is any evidence of institutional racism in the police force, claiming instead that West Indians were simply more likely to mug people. Urging his audience to read his book, Ross said "contact crimes" such as mugging were more prevalent among "some communities from the West Indies".

"Does that mean they're worse than us? No. Does that mean they're less moral, than us? No. It just means they're not very good at pick-pocketing, [so] they do this sort of crime."

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