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Paedophile Hunters

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dream_police, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I see yet again a man has been caught, filmed, jailed, shamed in the media for attempting to meet a "young boy" for sex.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I am not condoning sex with minors and yes when caught they should face appropriate punishment.

    What I really don't like, as in the case I've currently read about, are these groups of vigilantes who create false profiles on apps such as Grindr (where you are supposed to be 18 to use) and have a profile age of 18 or older (I think the one I read about yesterday stated he was 21 on his profile). They then start conversations with men, arrange to meet etc and then tell the guy that they are in fact under 18. The guy still agrees to meet the 15 year old or whatever. It is obviously a trap and they meet some blokes with a camera with the police on their way.

    You could argue that the guy is not on the app looking for kids but is drawn into it (yes, they should say no) by the hunters. Would such a thing have happened without them? Where they there looking for kids on an app designed for adults? They don't appear to be predators getting caught using teen chat rooms etc, where the sole intention is to get to a child.

    It is very much entrapment and it wouldn't surprise me if these vigilantes actually get a kick out of what they are doing. I understand that this has led to several suicides.

    The courts don't see it as them being Agent Provocateurs, but it certainly fits the definition.

    So, it is not the issue of whether it is right or wrong to meet underage boys for sex, but whether this whole craze of catching the men is right.

    What do you think?
    TheFatControlleR likes this.
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well, personally, I'd prosecute them both. The paedo on basis that if you agree to buy a car and turn up and the guy says "By the way, it's stolen", you are guilty of receiving if you go ahead. The vigilantes on basis a) of some kind of soliciting money on false pretences and b) of procuring a child for immoral purposes. Given you have to actually have and own what you offer for sale, fact they didn't really exist, alters nothing. I'd probably give them an equal term, possibly in the same cell.
  3. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I don't believe it is sex for sale, it is arranged through a dating site. I guess as there is no actual child involved part b, would be tricky.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Mebbe, but everyone knows what the site is for.

    I do believe that enticement should be treated same as incitement to commit.
  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Exactly. That is what they are doing, they are inciting a crime. They will make contact with no doubt hundreds of users hoping for a bite. I fully accept that some guys use teen/child chat rooms with the sole intention of getting a child and end up chatting to undercover officers, but that I feel is different as that person is already on the way to committing a crime.
  6. TimHeath

    TimHeath Well-Known Member

    I don’t think members of the public should take on the role of policing society, whether on the roads or elsewhere.

    Where will it lead?
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Robert Peel wrote “the police are the public and the public are the police” which is generally taken to mean that there is nothing a constable might do which it is wrong for a civilian to do. It could be taken the other way round (and in the Victorian courts sometimes was) that the public are obliged to do what a constable is obliged to do. This is an area of law that has been confused and perhaps deliberately obfuscated for decades with the “professionalisation” of British police. It’s certainly overdue for discussion.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  8. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    The trouble with vigilantes is that they can get it nastily wrong.

    Think of lynchings in America.

    Or here - I once nursed a paedophile. When he was released, people in his home town held a loud and threatening demonstration outside a man's house. Unfortunately, it was a man who was about the same height, build and age, walked with a similar limp. I could tell it was a different bloke from the picture in the local rag.

    No, I do not like vigilantes.

    Roger Hicks likes this.
  9. Jack D3200

    Jack D3200 Well-Known Member

    Where do you stand on "Nick" the guy who spread lies about well known people?
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    And yet, on another thread, there are those maintaining that Shamima Begum does not deserve human rights. Would they also be OK with lynching her, stoning her to death, or driving her to suicide, all extrajudicially?

    There are two things about the rule of law. One is rule -- not "rule when it suits you" -- and the other is law -- not "make it up as you go along".

    Personally I wouldn't want to let her back in, but equally, I know that under the rule of law, I have no choice.

    Likewise vigilantes. It is quite well established that a citizen's arrest is perfectly valid if a crime is being committed, but that only a copper can arrest on suspicion. With anti-paedophile vigilantes, the easiest crime to make stick is conspiracy -- and the vigilantes would be lot easier to convict.


  11. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I need a bit more info, i'm afraid.
  12. Jack D3200

    Jack D3200 Well-Known Member

    "Nick" spread rumours that Ted Heath and Leon Britten and others were paedophiles and even that Heath had murdered a child on his boat. Subsequently "Nick" was proved to be a liar and was/is being prosecuted. While the matter was in the news a senior police officer stood outside Heath's house in Salisbury and invited information. Heath was dead by this time and Leon Britten died while these stories were still active. I am trusting to memory here.
  13. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    He should be locked up. That then takes us to a discussion we have had many times on here re the naming of suspects in cases such as this prior to someone being convicted and be allowed a similar protection to the victims prior to that stage. It is so easy to make allegations yet so easy to disprove by which time the damage has been done.
    Gezza likes this.
  14. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It is a case of balancing the rights of the individual and the needs of the prosecutors/investigators. I think the rights of the individual must come first, but the victims are individuals too, how do you get victims to come forward without naming the accused?
  15. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is a difficult one.
  16. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it's time to bring back "criminal libel" which was thrown out in 2010 by section 73 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Alternatively you could simply make it a statutory offence to reveal the name of a defendant unless granted permission by the High Court (who may take different views from the Crown Court).
  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Entrapment is obviously legal and I suspect the police have done it many times and also with undercover infiltration.
    I feel very uncomfortable with entrapment, and squirm a bit with infiltration. I suppose it could be said that the end justifies the means, but I still don't think it's the 'right' way.
    RogerMac likes this.
  18. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    That's controversial. According to the Law Society Gazette ( https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/the-law-regarding-entrapment/55972.article ) entrapment is legal only when the trapper's actions constitute an opportunity to commit a crime but not where the trapper instigates the crime. In other words: "have you got any cocaine for sale?" is legitimate but "I'll give you £1000 if you go and get me cocaine" is not.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  19. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Which is why I question the methods in my OP. If someone makes contact with an adult on an adult site posing initially as an adult, then falsely claiming to be underage getting the man to meet with the intention of capturing them seems very much like entrapment. If the guy is out there making attempts to find and meet a child and his communications are intercepted then he has instigated his own offence.
    The courts, although I understand they have questioned these tactics, obviously disagree with my thoughts.
    Catriona and Roger Hicks like this.
  20. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I suppose it's where they put the line between creating an opportunity and instigation. In the example you give I can see where the courts might well regard "falsely claiming to be underage" as still just on the side of creating an opportunity but I'm bound to accept that you (as someone who did the job) know a lot more about the mechanics of it than I do.

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