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Are these Vigilante groups really taking dangerous individuals off the streets?

Vigilante groups have struck again. You will have seen the news of a TV Producer being accosted by a group of what have become known as ‘Paedophile Hunters’. Now we are not going to get into the details of this specific case so there is no point in calling to make comments on this individual. The individual is set to appear in court in Leeds today.

 

But I want to talk in general terms about these ‘Paedophile Hunters and Vigilantes’. What they are doing is posing as underage children on social media and making contact will alleged paedophiles. They engage in conversations with these men and get them to agree to a meeting.

 

Then you will have seen the countless videos where the suspect is caught waiting to meet – who they believe is an underage child. They are surrounded by a group of people who video the entire encounter while they wait for the police to arrive.

 

Now we will ALL agree that paedophiles are the lowest of the low and anyone caught trying to have sex with a minor should be subject to the full extent of the law. However is what these vigaltes groups doing going to result in fewer convictions and actually pose a threat to vulnerable children?

 

The reason I ask this is because these men who have been caught in these honey traps are guilty of messaging an adult posing as a minor and NOT a child.

 

Many will say that is a good thing. Sure it’s naming an individual and exposing the face of someone whom their children should be weary of. However when it comes to trying to get a conviction against these alleged paedophiles it will be very difficult. What have they done in these fake meetings? They have not met with a minor, they have not spoken to a minor on-line and what they can hope to achieve is for the police to seize the person’s pc/mobile and hope they find information of previous meetings with minors.

 

This could lead to potential paedophiles being released due to the lack of evidence from the honey trap and more crucially it can lead to child abusers going further underground and becoming even more difficult for police to find. Ultimately some may say that these vigilante groups are making it harder to reduce paedophile activity.

However looking at the comments on social media it seems that people are highly supportive of these vigilante groups with comments like “Thank God for these people taking this scum off the streets”…”These guys are doing the work the police should be doing”…”One less paedo to worry about ion the streets”.

 

Are they right?

So today I want to ask you – Are these Vigilante groups really taking dangerous individuals off the streets?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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