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Vigilante parents confront online predators

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posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:17 AM
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Story

Much like Chris Hansen on Dateline, and their team of online 'bait' Perverted-Justice, some parents in the UK have taken to the web to perform their own kind of vigilante paedophile stake outs.

So far, they have confronted seven men, four of whom have been arrested based on evidence gathered by the group.

Much like Chris Hansen does in To Catch A Predator, after arranging to meet the potential predator either in public or in a private place bringing items to show intent to have sexual intercourse, they confront the man in a non-aggressive manner, and talk to him about his actions. Two men have previously left without being talked to, though their licence plate numbers have been noted and given to the police.

The police however, are not taking a liking to this passive investigation, saying that it could harm victims of child abuse.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether the parents are in the right or wrong?
Though vigilantism is frowned upon by the police, is it ok in this respect? How is this any different to what To Catch A Predator does?

I, myself, have been 'groomed' on the internet, and I think the instances of this happening might be enough to put some men off from seeking attention from under-age teens. Of course, there are always going to be some who might chance it anyway.

Is this really a bad thing? Are the parents wrong for wanting to keep children safe? Or should we just leave it down to the police and sit back and hope for the best?




posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:29 AM
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I think its brilliant. People power.

Line up the nooses.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


I think the parents should stay out of it. Whether you like the police or not, they have at least been properly trained to handle dangerous situations. All it would take is one of the suspects to get angry and pull a gun on this vigilantes. The parents involved in this are, most likely, not trained to handle situations like that and could end up getting themselves, or an innocent bystander (if the meeting is in a public place), hurt in the process.

At least "To Catch a Predator," a show I despise completely, involves the police in the stings. I'm not generally a fan of the police, but I trust them more in a situation like this than I would a group of emotional parents taking the law in to their own hands.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:33 AM
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I think it is great that the parents are doing this.
Why is it just ok for a reporter to do it? It's not like he has a badge or anything.
The police just don't like it, because it's not them, and it is actually producing results.
They should be happy that most of the work is being done for them.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:34 AM
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At least they are handing them over to the police. Can't say I would do the same after taking all that time to get them to come out of hiding, and luring them somewhere...



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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They should just torture them and leave the police out of it, no reason to involve the police.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by Koros
reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


I think the parents should stay out of it. Whether you like the police or not, they have at least been properly trained to handle dangerous situations. All it would take is one of the suspects to get angry and pull a gun on this vigilantes. The parents involved in this are, most likely, not trained to handle situations like that and could end up getting themselves, or an innocent bystander (if the meeting is in a public place), hurt in the process.


While I am mostly in agreement, that the likelihood of the parents being properly trained in this kind of thing is probably very low indeed, I would think the likelihood of a man in the UK with the intent of having sex with a minor having a gun on him at the time of meeting is also pretty low.
If you're a grown man, meeting up with a young girl 12-15 years old, I am inclined to think if he wanted to force her into anything, he wouldn't need a gun to do it, he'd already be bigger and stronger than her...



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:43 AM
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reply to post by Koros
 


Hell yea lets the coppers handle it with their shoot first methods. Their routine beat downs. I think its just what these molesters need.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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I think it's extremely dangerous and foolish...although I love the heart and intent behind it. No one can fault these folks for what they are doing in motivation.

On the other hand...I'd say two things come to mind.

First, not all of these are 'Chester the Molester' out to victimize a kid and leave a victim behind. Especially overseas (relative to the US for attitudes of Law Enforcement). Hundreds of thousands of people vanish every year, never to be seen or heard from again. Some end up in places like the movie "Taken" depicts and international 'White Slave' trade. If these good people run into one of the 'head hunters' from that world, they're likely to lose far more than just their time ...and the bad guy will be anything but non-aggressive.

Second, if they don't have the full surrounding of law enforcement like 'To Catch a Predator' does to make sure no one gets away from them, it's not catching anyone. It's training the bad guys to be better and more careful in the future. Kinda like Occupy and the cops. The Cops being the bad guys in THAT example but the same principle. In the summer of 2011, American Law Enforcement were total amateurs when it came to hard core suppression of dissent and citizen protest. Now? They could write the book on it and sell to most of the world for expertise.....why? They had practice targets for months to learn from.

Same here... The pervs will learn each time they come close to but not QUITE get busted. It's making better predators, not catching them when it's not done by those with authority to grab them and hold them on the spot, without question. Just my thoughts.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


The likelihood, especially in the UK, of one of these men having a gun may be low. That is true. However, and perhaps I'm in the "err on the side of caution" camp here, unless there is NO chance, then I can't support an action that is being undertaken by amateurs that could potentially put innocent bystanders at risk.

But, that said, there is also legal situations to be concerned about. I will admit, upfront, that I know little about the UK's legal system, but imagine if this were in the US. The suspect freaks out, bolts to his car, and peels out of the parking lot. On the way home, and in his haste to get away from strangers who are confronting him, he rams his car in to a tree and dies. That leaves the vigilantes open to some serious legal ramifications from the dead suspect's family. Without the legal shields in place that surround the police when it comes to liability, these ordinary citizens will likely find themselves on the receiving end of a wrongful death suit faster than you can blink. Win or lose the case, these vigilantes have now put their OWN families at risk as they pump thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, of dollars in to mounting a legal defense. Even if they win the case, they are out a serious amount of money that could have been used to support their families.

Beyond wrongful death (the extreme hypothetical, true), there are the potential legal hurdles if the suspect DOES end up in court. The reason the police don't like vigilantes isn't because it is "their turf" or others "are doing their job for them." It is because, at least in the US court system (and I would imagine in the UK), evidence has to be procured in a very careful, step-by-step, manner. One misstep, one wrong thing said during the online "conversations with a minor," and all of that evidence is rendered useless in court. The end result being a waste of the court and police's time, a waste of tax money, and a criminal walking free.

I support ANY person who reports these guys to the police. But, report it and let the police handle it. Setting up your own stings is just asking for a litany of trouble that the vigilantes aren't prepared for.
edit on 4/22/2013 by Koros because: Typo



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:55 AM
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Well the police dont seem to be doing much. Its been 6 months since the Elm tree guest house scandal broke and no one has been arrested. MPs and celebs were going to this guest house and raping children who were brought from a care home in Wales and also from one in Richmond.
Police covered up since 1963 for sir jimmy so VILE savil. As did the BBC and lets not forget MI5/6 ect. They also covered up for him.
I wish these people all the best in their efforts to save children from these monsters.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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Well, I say if they have the time. Go for it. We cannot expect the authorities to protect us. That is just crazy. Why do you think people own firearms. It is a great idea. The more the merrier. Maybe those perverts who try to scoop kids up online will be a little more wary. If enough adults get involved perhaps we could remove the online playground from them. Let's reduce them to the parks and playgrounds and smoke them out in the open.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


i'm having trouble deciding where i stand on this at present, as a parent i kinda think "fairplay" but maybe thats a bit daily mail of me :/
in the article it seems unclear to me just who is asking who to bring the jimmy-hats and booze..


The men then suggest a meeting, local to where the "girl" lives. They are asked to bring condoms and alcohol.


but maybe i'm being thick?

the trouble with this vigilante action is it's hard to ascertain quite how much of a come on the vigilantes give to the men in question and where and how they make them selves known, or indeed available to these potential predators


One member of Letzgo Hunting, who calls himself Scumm Buster online


that they have a groovy moniker and individual id's also implies a strong element of ego in their activities too. while there is not much info in the article i have qualms over elements of the groups intent which could have a major impact on who they attract..

from an article in the Birmingham Mail linked via the BBC article..
www.birminghammail.co.uk...


A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: “The men were brought to our attention by a person or persons who use the internet to pose as young girls offering to meet with men for sex.


which implies to me that this group, rather than having for example a profile on a social networking site that has elements that implies vulnerability and waiting for contact, that they imply they are "up for it"... now obvs any man going for this bait is clearly very much in the wrong and potentially a danger, they could also push someone past a "tipping point" for involvement in such activities. This sends a dangerous message that underage girls are indeed seeking sexual encounters with older men - what if this is seen by a man who instead of seeking contact with the bait is then encouraged to seek a genuinely vulnerable and unprotected girl for predatory behaviour.

i feel that this activity could have repercussions that the group had not even thought through

ETA: a very interesting thread, OP, SnF
edit on 22-4-2013 by skalla because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-4-2013 by skalla because: clarity, typos, errors



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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If the program is assisted by the proper officials who can legally assist these parents cyber or physical, then it overall is and can become a system to prevent the ignorance. Also from a parents perspective...
snf


LOVE LIGHT ETERNIA*******



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 09:15 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


Interesting post !

Whilst commendable in principle, I think vigilante action / entrapment by the public to catch paedophiles, like all law enforcement, should be left to the police, otherwise why stop at trapping paedophiles ?

Then anarchy might ensue, with innocent people getting hurt if everyone starts feeling entitled to enforce the law of the land, or their notion of it...



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by MrJohnSmith
reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


Interesting post !

Whilst commendable in principle, I think vigilante action / entrapment by the public to catch paedophiles, like all law enforcement, should be left to the police, otherwise why stop at trapping paedophiles ?

Then anarchy might ensue, with innocent people getting hurt if everyone starts feeling entitled to enforce the law of the land, or their notion of it...


There is an issue here, I know that for it to stand up in court, the conversational partner, IE: potential offender, would have to bring up the sexual subject first, rather than being prompted into the sexual side by the 'bait'.

Someone mentioned being confused by asking who was inviting who to bring condoms and alcohol. This is usually established by the bait, asking for a gift and condoms, to show that the adult has intent of having sexual contact with the minor they think they're talking to.

My own personal stance is that the online aspect is ok, in my view. I can't imagine what sick things these volunteers have had to read. However, arranging to meet them is where my feelings become mixed.
One one hand, you have an adult who has now been scared out of their wits and confronted for having hebephilic tendencies, on the other, this is where the law should be getting involved, in apprehending someone who has just shown intent to commit sexual acts with a child.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


the more i look at this group, the more i see them as very active bait with a major come on - a very questionable method. i've worked for a long time with safeguarding and child protection, and strongly feel that what they are doing is dangerous and counter productive... if they were more clued up and less concerned with strutting around and self congratulation then they may think the same - they say that 90% of people agree with what the do via the BM article.. obviously fantasy and self justification.
edit on 22-4-2013 by skalla because: typos, clarity

edit on 22-4-2013 by skalla because: typo



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 10:09 AM
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If I understand it correctly, they are not trying to apprehend the men, but just gather information? None of it would stand up in a US court, but it would permit police to investigate them. It does sound a bit dangerous. Even thogh they may not have a gun, they could still respond dangerously and with a deadly weapon.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by Lulzaroonie
 


Fair points, Lulzaroonie. It is a very emotional subject. Everyone wants to see paedophiles locked up or treated, where possible, me included.

I think a paedophile might think twice if entrapment by the public became common place, and there was a good chance of that person being caught...which is good. I would just be concerned that mistakes could be made.

Or maybe paedophiles would develop ways of identifying adults posing as " Victims " on the Internet ?

I daresay the police could entrap paedophiles if they weren't hard pressed for manpower / budget constraints...



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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It's not a new idea -- there have been other groups that do this (and groups that vet "child safe" sites.) I worked with the Cyberangels as a volunteer about 10 years ago.



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