Credulous Cameron and the Lie Detectors

No, not the title of a new kids novel, it’s news that sex offenders face mandatory lie detector tests.

It seems Cameron is “impressed” enough (According to the Guardian) with lie detectors to want to use them on sex offenders. Lie detectors that are otherwise inadmissible in court.

Fail a lie detector test? Bad luck. “Any offenders found to have broken their licence as a result of a lie detector test would be sent back to prison“.

Lie detectors only work when people think they work. There is no fundamental difference between this approach and putting someone in a room with a “psychic mind reader”. I doubt we would stand for that, and there is no reason we should put up with it just because it looks a little bit like science.

(An alternate title for this blog post was going to be Cargo Cult Cameron. Not sure which I prefer…)

1 comment

  1. I share your unease, as most liberal should. This is happening on our watch and i don’t like it for all sorts of reasons. How long before people suggest using them on immigrants, benefit claimants and terror suspects?

    I also worry that the admissions of breach of licence that they have apparently prompted are after the event, after people have been put at risk. Are we not better giving better rehab so that the breaches are less likely to happen in the first place?

    I’ve written about it here.

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