THE NATIONAL Crime Agency may be shocked that there are an estimated 750,000 paedophiles in the UK but I’m not.

And, I bet, neither are any police officers, child welfare officers, customs officers who confiscate the filth these people read and lust over, and, indeed, my colleagues on this newspaper and every other.

For decades we have had to schlep round the local courthouses to listen to hours of evidence against thousands of men who have been caught sexually abusing children, either physically or, in recent years, by leering at them online too.

All the evidence shows that men who enjoy online child abuse will probably, at some point, attempt to physically abuse children but the sad fact is that there are usually too many cases for this newspaper to report. In just one week in Bournemouth this month, the magistrates court was dealing with 28 assorted charges of alleged child sexual assault and online child abuse.

Now imagine that in Weymouth, Dorchester, Southampton, Salisbury, Poole, Portsmouth... 50 weeks a year.

Then imagine what the court list must look like in massive population centres, such as Birmingham or London.

And remember these are only the ones we know about.

For years people who have tried to draw attention to this scourge have been treated as scaremongers or nutters, obsessed with a crime which, the liberalist community likes to insist, is ‘very rare’.

Strangers jumping out of bushes and abducting children for their own perverted delight ARE rare.

But men raping children, men grooming kids online, men trafficking young women around the country, safe in the knowledge that they’ll probably get away with it because of their ‘heritage’ is about as commonplace as men watching football on TV.

It’s happening on an industrial scale.

It’s even, according to the campaigning MP, Simon Danczuk, happening in the Houses of Parliament. It’s there, in the building where they make our laws, that he alleged that Labour peer Lord Greville Janner ‘violated, raped and tortured’ children.

For legal purposes I should point out that Janner has previously denied such allegations and that his family denied them on his behalf in April because, it’s claimed, he’s too ill to be tried although he was not considered too ill to be appointed to a parliamentary committee as late as year.

It’s sick-making. And it’s stupid, too, to ignore the alleged assault and abuse of children.

Because this sort of crime has far-reaching and very expensive implications for us all.

In 2004 a detective called John Livingstone who investigated Britain’s most prolific paedophile, a man called Frank Goad, claimed his actions had resulted in a crime wave in the town of Plymouth, where he raped and abused possibly thousands of young men over a 40-year period.

It was reported that of the 17 men who gave evidence against Goad, every single one was known to the police but apart from one shoplifting offence none of them had offended before they were abused. Between them they had committed 150 criminal offences.

This kind of thing costs us a lot but imagine all the additional costs for all the hospital visits of children injured by paedophiles. All the psychiatrists, unemployment benefit and housing costs for those lost souls who are so damaged they can’t hold down a job. All the costs we have to bear if abuse victims become abusers themselves.

There’s no pay-off to this piece, there can’t be. I just wish that politicians, those in charge and everyone who says they care about children actually tackled this issue once and for all. We’ve had a war on drugs and a war on terror. Time, I think, for a war on all those who would rape and abuse children.

Sending pictures gives others power 

THE FORMER girlfriend of Dragon Duncan Bannatyne has been all over the media claiming the businessman ‘threatened’ to show what she describes as ‘intimate’ pictures following an argument she claims they had over a bill. Can’t comment on any of that because I wasn’t there.

But if, as Michelle Evans is reported as claiming: “I feel like he has a huge amount of power over me” and ‘It kills me that Duncan still has those pictures’ then whose fault is that?

She’s not alleging she was coerced into sending saucy piccies of herself, is she? She did it willingly and Bannatyne says he never said he was going to send the pictures, never intended to send the pictures and that it’s something he wouldn’t do.

What I DO know is that if you don’t want another human being having this kind of power over you, the answer is simple. Don’t give them the power. Don’t send them these kinds of images. It really is that easy.

The BBC must have been desperate 

I’VE NO trouble believing the BBC offered Jeremy Clarkson back his old Top Gear job. Once the top-dogs realised just how many niche music stations, poncey arts shows, obscure theme days, lavish ads, Glastonbury tickets and senior executives’ pay and bonuses the estimated £20 million-a-year Top Gear revenue stream underwrites, I bet they were desperate.

I won't give up my skinnies 

ACCORDING to a doctor who treated a woman who lost the feeling in her legs and feet because of them, skinny jeans can seriously damage your health.

Hmm. I am so devoted to my skinnies - they are the 21st century version of a corset, they make your legs look as if they go on forever and go with everything from your DJ to your cardie - that I’d probably have to have my legs actually removed before I’d part with mine.

Poor Jamie Murray

IN A TWEET I bet she wishes she could expunge from the universe, Judy Murray described son, Andy, as ‘My Special One’. OK, he was standing next to Jose ‘I’m a special one’ Mourhino at the time but many a true word etc etc.

Even though she clumsily tried to appease her other son, Jamie, the damage was surely done. How do I know this? Because, before this ill-judged tweet, I didn’t even know she HAD another child. I thought it was just her and Andy-Pandy against the world. Poor Jamie...

Lovely Barbara Windsor is a class act 

AFTER slating younger EastEnders cast members for unpunctuality and yakking on their mobiles, Barbara Windsor reveals that fellow star June Brown told her she should: “Provide a masterclass for those starting out.”

I interviewed Barbara once and it remains one of the happiest hours of my life; nattering on about her theatre work, THAT Carry on Camping scene, finding out what it was really like to be friends with my comic hero, Kenneth Williams (he wouldn’t let her use his loo) and holding my hand before giving me a kiss goodbye.

Never mind giving a masterclass, Barbara Windsor IS one.

Note: This piece by Faith is an opinion piece and not a news report. You can contact Faith by tweeting @HerFaithness