Widespread use of polygraph tests should be adopted to better protect children and other victims from sex abusers, a leading forensic psychiatrist claims.

imagesThe UK’s failure to use polygraph, or so-called lie-detector tests, is “misguided and irrational” and putting children at risk, he claims.

Professor Don Grubin, who has helped train British police and probation officers as part of Ministry of Justice trials to monitor and assess suspected paedophiles, says the tests help better identify high-risk sex offenders. He also believes the test has an important role in aiding police investigations into other crimes.

Professor Grubin, of Newcastle University, says the police and criminal justice system could reap enormous benefits if it can overcome the image of polygraphs used on daytime television such as The Jeremy Kyle Show to trap lying spouses having affairs.

“Polygraph testing is something everyone thinks they know about because they see it on crime shows and daytime TV but there are lots of aspects which are simply misunderstood or misconstrued,” said Professor Grubin.