The UK government's latest 'cure it with a database' plan, however, has Horowitz and other widely admired children's authors criticising those with a "twisted view of society" that could conceive of such a thing.
"A group of respected British children's authors and illustrators will stop visiting schools from the start of the next academic year, in protest at a new government scheme that requires them to register on a database in case they pose a danger to children.Horowitz, writing in the Independent says:
Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake all told The Independent that they object to having their names on the database – which is intended to protect children from paedophiles – and would not be visiting any schools as a consequence...
The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) is being managed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority, set up after the 2002 murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley, a janitor at their school. All individuals who work with children from 12 October will be required to register with a national database for a fee of £64."
"It is hard to know what is most objectionable about the database proposed by a government that seems more and more like a dying wasp, determined to sting one last time before it goes.Very well said Mr Horowitz.
In essence, I'm being asked to pay £64 to prove that I am not a paedophile. After 30 years writing books, visiting schools, hospitals, prisons, spreading an enthusiasm for culture and literacy, I find this incredibly insulting.
It is also so ludicrous as to be very nearly insane...
This is a law made by people with a bleak and twisted view of society. And such people, quite simply, should not be making laws."
The editorial in the paper is less polite:
"A toxic combination of bureaucratic stupidity and popular hysteria over paedophilia has brought us to this absurdity."