Alleged UK paedophile`s arrest in China sparks concerns
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Last Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 19:19
  
Beijing: The arrest of an alleged paedophile from UK has raised concerns as he had worked as a teacher in an international school in China for four years before being captured in Beijing.

Neil Robinson, 47, who worked as a teacher at the prestigious Beijing International School, is wanted by police in the United Kingdom in connection with the distribution of indecent images of children and the rape of a child prompting police here to arrest him yesterday.

The news has also been confirmed by police in Surrey, where Robinson hails from, official media here reported today.

He joined Beijing World Youth Academy in 2008, but left the school in May last year for "personal reasons".

He is believed to be in China since then, state-run China Daily reported. Surrey police are now liaising with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Chinese authorities regarding Robinson's return to the UK, the Daily quoted British police officials as saying.

They said that Robinson had turned himself in to authorities in China. The offences Robinson is wanted in connection with took place between 2000 and 2002.

The arrest warrant for Robinson was revealed during an episode of BBC television's Crimewatch programme, which highlights police appeals for information involving wanted people in the United Kingdom.

The programme had reported that Robinson may be abroad. A staff member said international teachers at the Beijing World Youth Academy normally renew their contracts in May, but that Robinson had handed in his resignation early last year, because he had claimed his father was "seriously ill and he had to return to the UK".

His arrests sparked concerns among Chinese netizens. The case highlighted how the background checking process in China's international schools should be tightened, said one of the posts in microblog Weibo, the Chinese Twitter.

"Chinese employers, please do background checks before hiring international staff members," said netizen Fo Yue Da Xiong.

International schools in Beijing hire teachers from their native countries and through Chinese agencies.

An education counselor with the international programme at a high school attached to Tsinghua University, said that Chinese agencies often do not carry out background checks.

"Schools make phone calls or write to people for references to check prospective teachers' credentials," she said, adding that it was often difficult for schools to do criminal background checks.

"If applicants are from the United States, we can ask them to show a criminal background check by the US government. But it's hard to do that in China," she added.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013, 19:19


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