A lot of it is based on fear mongering however.
Where I live there's been a concerted effort to make parents "aware" of child abduction and molestation.
As a result, any male (unaccompanied by a female) who is seen within 300 feet of a child is immediately viewed with suspicion and seen as "up to no good." I've got a friend who was sitting at a picnic table in a public park (quietly having lunch and reading his book) be "asked" by two soccer moms if he'd mind moving two tables further away because their children wanted to play on the swing set next to his
Some US airlines are already on record as having "policies" that do not allow single unrelated males to sit next to unaccompanied children on plane flights. (When asked why, since it could be considered both discriminatory and a form of illegal profiling, they stonewall and simply reiterate: "It's our company's policy.")
So in this highly charged, hyper-emotional, and "anxious" atmosphere, it doesn't take much prodding (or parental peer pressure) to get many parents to go along with having their son or daughter fingerprinted by the police. And surprise, surprise! There is a fee charged for this service too! (Can you say "municipal revenue opportunity" folks? Because the people who sell them the kiddie "ID kits" certainly do.)
Interestingly, the vast majority of cases involving child abduction or molestation were committed by a parent
of the victim. Followed by trusted
members within the family circle (i.e. clergy, medical advisors, 'sitters', and close personal friends.) At least if the FBI's reported crime statistics are to be believed.
And today, according to UNICEF, the biggest threat to the lives of women and children is warfare - where both are increasingly being seen as acceptable targets for direct attack. This has drastically increased the number of female and child casualties by adding to the deaths from "related factors" which (traditionally) were the primary causes of death to female and child non-combatants. These include such things as: disease, starvation, and non-combat related acts of violence (i.e. rape, murder, assault).
So apparently it's governments and wannabe governments that pose the greatest risks to the lives and safety of children. Followed by people found within their own family circle.
Interesting that it's only the "sicko stranger" and "creep" who is getting all the focus and attention - as well as being viewed as the most proximate threat. Not to take away from the problem itself, or dismiss legitimate concerns. But much more common and serious threats exist that are largely being ignored when it comes to the safety of children.
Why is that?