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Predator hunter groups


Predator hunter groups

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AB2014
AB2014
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Dean91 - 30 May 22 7:29 PM
AB2014 - 30 May 22 12:08 PM
Dean91 - 29 May 22 4:18 PM
AB2014 - 27 May 22 1:28 PM

Well, if they are suspected of not being decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, if the authorities were to find out by some means....

Im very suspicious and if I am honest, the likelihood would be they "turn a blind eye" 

I don't doubt that a decision-maker somewhere would decide it's not in the public interest, although HMRC are interested in collecting every penny due from anyone who isn't wealthy enough to afford an accountant.

And if you are very wealthy you get back door deals with the Chancellor!!! 

If you are very wealthy, you can be the Chancellor....

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

Dean91
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AB2014 - 30 May 22 12:08 PM
Dean91 - 29 May 22 4:18 PM
AB2014 - 27 May 22 1:28 PM

Well, if they are suspected of not being decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, if the authorities were to find out by some means....

Im very suspicious and if I am honest, the likelihood would be they "turn a blind eye" 

I don't doubt that a decision-maker somewhere would decide it's not in the public interest, although HMRC are interested in collecting every penny due from anyone who isn't wealthy enough to afford an accountant.

And if you are very wealthy you get back door deals with the Chancellor!!! 
AB2014
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Dean91 - 29 May 22 4:18 PM
AB2014 - 27 May 22 1:28 PM

Well, if they are suspected of not being decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, if the authorities were to find out by some means....

Im very suspicious and if I am honest, the likelihood would be they "turn a blind eye" 

I don't doubt that a decision-maker somewhere would decide it's not in the public interest, although HMRC are interested in collecting every penny due from anyone who isn't wealthy enough to afford an accountant.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

Dean91
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AB2014 - 27 May 22 1:28 PM

Well, if they are suspected of not being decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, if the authorities were to find out by some means....

Im very suspicious and if I am honest, the likelihood would be they "turn a blind eye" 
AB2014
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Dean91 - 27 May 22 11:31 AM
khafka - 26 May 22 9:31 PM
dedalus - 25 May 22 12:50 PM
well now one of these groups, one of the most famous ones, are now asking for "donations" from their followers on their facebook page....
What a surprise...

I trust they'll be declaring that income to HMRC, DWP, or some other relevant authority to them...

I wouldn't expect so if I am honest. 

Well, if they are suspected of not being decent, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, if the authorities were to find out by some means....

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

Dean91
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khafka - 26 May 22 9:31 PM
dedalus - 25 May 22 12:50 PM
well now one of these groups, one of the most famous ones, are now asking for "donations" from their followers on their facebook page....
What a surprise...

I trust they'll be declaring that income to HMRC, DWP, or some other relevant authority to them...

I wouldn't expect so if I am honest. 
khafka
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dedalus - 25 May 22 12:50 PM
well now one of these groups, one of the most famous ones, are now asking for "donations" from their followers on their facebook page....
What a surprise...

I trust they'll be declaring that income to HMRC, DWP, or some other relevant authority to them...

AB2014
AB2014
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dedalus - 25 May 22 12:50 PM
well now one of these groups, one of the most famous ones, are now asking for "donations" from their followers on their facebook page....
What a surprise...

Well, there is a cost of living crisis at the moment, and that summer holiday isn't getting any cheaper....

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

dedalus
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well now one of these groups, one of the most famous ones, are now asking for "donations" from their followers on their facebook page....
What a surprise...
Edited
3 Months Ago by dedalus
AB2014
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Mr W - 24 May 22 12:59 PM

Tougher sentences for stings
This seemed to fly under the radar. From June judges can "impose sentences that reflect the intended harm" during conversations with vigilantes.
To me this seems to empower vigilantes because they can lead their fake conversation to a level that they may not have before this change. Then those falling for it could, thanks to these changes, face a life sentence!
Of course, it could be argued this sends a strong message to potential offenders but more power given to questionable groups feels like the wrong way to go.

I'm not a fan of attempting to "send a message", as it is usually a government sending a message to their supporters who read certain newspapers. Let's not forget in all this that inciting someone to commit an offence is an offence. I wonder if that is likely to be used. They might claim a public interest defence, and if they don't start the online contact themselves, that might well save them, but if they go out looking for contacts, aren't both sides committing an offence?

Meanwhile, let's not forget that there is an offence being committed. How many times does this happen? How many times is it all over the news? All over the internet? At some point, you'd think that it would occur to someone that if it's too good to be true, it probably is. After all, the only distinction being made here is between a serious offence and a very serious offence. I have no time for these vigilante groups, and their need to look big, and this is only going to encourage them. It might even inspire more of them, but they're not the only ones creating this situation.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

Mr W
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Tougher sentences for stings
This seemed to fly under the radar. From June judges can "impose sentences that reflect the intended harm" during conversations with vigilantes.
To me this seems to empower vigilantes because they can lead their fake conversation to a level that they may not have before this change. Then those falling for it could, thanks to these changes, face a life sentence!
Of course, it could be argued this sends a strong message to potential offenders but more power given to questionable groups feels like the wrong way to go.

=====
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Dean91
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I have a view opinions on this, and some of my friends do agree so here goes.

1. They are a burdon, Not only are they making allegations they are not bothered about the consequences to their actions when placing this on social media. When they do the "stings", the police end up having to mop up the mess they have made especially because they tend to reveal quite identifying information. 

2. The police do have a duty of care to those who have had allegations against them. This will include everything from welbeing to making sure you get home safe, as well as what happens during your stay in custody. Vigilante groups seem all to not bothered about this, and instead are more interested in broadcasting stuff to get their 30 secs of fame and have no training to deal with potential offenders. Although the people they are meeting with are potential contact offenders, they could still put them at risk by pulling knifes etc. 

3. Trial by social media - now this is my biggest bug bearer. The beauty of the british legal system is we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty, instead they are playing on peoples fears about stranger danger to children and instead persecute people online, despite the actual reality in which most children know their abusers as they tend to be family or someone close to the family. 
4. How they actually do it, it seems like the police are a second thought and catching you on camera is more important to them. If they truly beleived they are protecting children, they would contact the police the moment a date and time is arranged and then provide all the so called evidence to them and allow them to do their jobs.

5. Whips up fear of the CJS and plays on some fears of it, such as lenient sentences but they are idiotic on how this works, where a sentence is based on multple factors and one of those beign whether you are better in the community or not. 

6. Even if an offender has completed all aspects of the sentence plan and seemed to be rehabilitated they could jeopodise this by releasing information about them and their previous offences without a care in the world. 

7. They don;t just detroy the alleged offenders life, they have a ripple effect on their family as well. 

I would sooner see the back of these so called groups.
james1979
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dedalus - 3 Feb 22 6:17 PM
Hello,
By accident I have stumbled across the videos of a particular 'predator' hunter group based in Leeds. The leader is certainly a 'colorful' character.....

What is the view on here regarding these groups? do they serve a purpose or are they glorified vigilantes who actually hinder police operations?
I am in two minds about this, on the one hand I don't agree with how they humiliate their suspects however on the other hand they have helped uncover nasty cases of child abuse, for example that of an Irish TV producer who was then found to have abused several children in the Far East.
I know this topic may be a little sensitive for some forum members but I just wanted to see what people thought about these groups. 

Regards,

I actualy discussed this with my probation officer, I think these groups are a ticking timebomb and tragedy will strike one day in one of these stings or confrontations. I dont think they are careful or in anyway do any homework like say a police officer would do, they just turn up and switch a camera on and away they go. what if the person they are meeting turns out to be dangrous and pulls a weapon (knife, gun etc) I dont care what any of these groups say, they will poop themselves and it will end badly for them, no ammount of training can help with something like that as I am trained in martial arts and self defence but when i had a knife pulled on me, you panic simple as. I dont have a problem with entraping people on line but its the meeting where I really do think one day something bad will happen, not a case of if its when and it will happen and I think this will force the authorities to look at these groups and change the law. 

I just want it known i am not saying everyone they target is dangrous its just a very scattergun way to do thing, the police should handle the evidence not these groups.



AB2014
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alexh07 - 17 Feb 22 6:08 PM

Personally I don't condone any of this behaviour but feel that there needs to be a line drawn between someone who has physically assaulted a child and someone who has allegedly communicated with a decoy on a dating app. The latter is suitable for early intervention with a vulnerable perpetrator whilst the physical act is in almost all cases indefensible.


I don't think that falling back on the hierarchy of offenders helps anyone. Saying "I know this looks bad, but what that guy over there did is worse" doesn't make much difference. I don't think the general public are sympathetic to that approach, as they seem to support the theory that "they're all the same", and it has to be said that if someone is communicating with a view to meeting, they probably intend to carry out a physical act. They shouldn't need to be told that what they are planning is an offence. Victim empathy should tell you that nobody has the right to say that any victim of any offence shouldn't feel as bad as the victim of a different offence.

=========================================================================================================

Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

Edited
6 Months Ago by AB2014
Alan Watts
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Unfortunately no one will defend the targets of these videos publicly.

I agree with a lot of the above points. The main point being that younger/vulnerable people would be better with some sort of early police/social worker intervention to give them awareness that what they are doing is wrong (communicating with children online) rather than prosecution and public ridicule at the first instance.

Personally I don't condone any of this behaviour but feel that there needs to be a line drawn between someone who has physically assaulted a child and someone who has allegedly communicated with a decoy on a dating app. The latter is suitable for early intervention with a vulnerable perpetrator whilst the physical act is in almost all cases indefensible.

Obviously the intention of these groups is supposed to be good, but they use unethical practices (entrapment), cause so many problems and ruin peoples lives for what could be an easy mistake for someone vulnerable. Almost all of the subjects of these videos appear to have low IQ/mental health issues/autism.



Edited
6 Months Ago by alexh07
xDanx
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They also often confront the wrong person entirely live streaming the interaction. I watched one video of these groups a few years ago now where they approached one guy and his sister throwing all kinds of allegations on the streets as he was entering his car. But the group were convinced he was the right guy but in the end they shut down the stream because they eventually realized they were in fact wrong. Even if he did not face any sort of prosecution, because it was live streamed some will still think of the worst making this mans life hell unnecessarily. These groups need to stop with the live streams and simply report what they find to police, IF an actual child has been involved.

Those who contact decoys need to be given the help rather than just throwing the hammer down but these types of offences have just become to main stream now and society for the most part is just hooked on stories like these

Mr W
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That video is awful, a complete lack of awareness, using catchphrases like he’s on some American TV show thinking he’s the dogs, their dismissal when the guy mentions ADHD (Which was true and also had autism) is dangerous. You just don’t treat any person like that. They’re just vile. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main guy said in an interview (…!) he was abused as a child. So, again, a running theme seems to be making other people’s lives a misery to atone for their own issues. Interestingly they were charged with false imprisonment after this (probably because of their police-looking uniforms) but were cleared by a jury (hmm). Afterwards the leader lit a fat cigar and said ‘tune in folks’… what an absolute Grade A……. Anyway, the whole thing is just, as I said, a horrific mess. Randomly, one of them is dead and a tribute was reported by a local rag saying what a wonderful person she was. I’m sure she’s not the only vigilante to die before their time too.

Meanwhile, a man who is autistic and has ADHD will now forevermore have a troublesome DBS, be traumatised from the event and who knows what his friends and family think. While being in a system that, frankly, doesn’t have a clue what to do with someone in this situation.

Good point about approaching those who might retaliate, they will no doubt only pick people who they’ve seen a pic of and know they can bully. And swiftly delete any streams or posts that go wrong, again, without any accountability.

=====
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dedalus
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I think there is a separate debate to be had whether the press should report on any conviction, whether it be child grooming, drug dealing, blue badge fraud or shoplifting. My view is that if a person has been punished by a court of law, there is no need for newspapers to divulge any details. This public interest mantra is just c...p in my opinion.

On the subject of vigilante groups, this is the video that made me think whether these groups are of any use at alland that they go too far, it is public on youtube so I am assuming the moderators are happy for me to publish it on here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDEuzxyz4qE

Edited
6 Months Ago by dedalus
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Mr W - 6 Feb 22 3:50 AM
I listened to an interview with one of the groups on LBC a while ago and while I understand the “vigilante message” and their incredibly emotive rhetoric that some buy in to… the fact of the matter is the end product is, more often than not, a horrific mess. I'll scrawl a few thoughts down for discussion because I think it's an interesting hot topic...

1 Why does the public have so much trust in these vigilantes who are strangers? No background checks. No accountability. No clear reasoning of their strong “need” to be involved. I saw one woman say recently she was abused as a child, so that’s why she does it - why is that “justification” never questioned? Whose responsibility is it to question it? (And if you’re reading this thinking the same thing, seek help for yourself) Again, no accountability, there’s no ‘standards authority’, what is the overarching goal? Other “vigilantes” have also turned out to be offenders, but quick, look the other way because white hot anger overrules all.

2 I don’t know the exact figure, but in terms of suicides spurred on by these situations… the number is not zero, so that’s unacceptable. I’d like to know why manslaughter never seems to come up in those cases? 

3 There have been cases where the accused has learning difficulties, autism or other diagnosis where surely criminal prosecution could be completely unnecessary. The upset and difficulty this causes to their families is horrific.

4 Would they still take part if they didn’t get their little plaudits on their social media mob pages, or if they had to be silent about what they did? Because the outcome would be the same either way, right? Or, if instead of reporting people to police, they gave help and advice to help the accused change their ways and not make another bad choice in the future? My guess would be mostly no.

5 What happens afterwards? Nobody wants to ask that question and, certainly, vigilantes don’t care. I met a man who was prosecuted via this method. It destroyed his life. He was video’d, it was put online, the newspaper used pictures. It was his first offence and, let me remind you (and I’m choosing my words carefully here), there was no complainant. As he was older but not retired, how is he going to find work again? (Especially when we all know work is one of the biggest positive factors in not reoffending) How does he tackle whatever problems he was having so that he ended up chatting to a decoy? Who can he talk openly to about this crazy world he’s found himself in. Sometimes all people need is an opportunity to discuss what they’re doing and a simple: “C’mon mate, you know that’s not right, let’s get you doing something positive…” could really deter all sorts of problems.

Removing emotion and looking at it in black and white for a second, what actually happened, it was on a screen, nobody was touched, these fake conversations are provocatively structured (important for the manslaughter argument imo) and it was essentially a “thought crime” and that is why the “throw away the key” sentence never happens and they're often suspended. So really ask... what was the point?
“Yes, but what if he…” The vigilantes cry. Well how about this - When one starts ‘what if’ing, you must also then ask, what else might a mob decide we should not be allowed to think, especially if they're casting a fishing rod?

So what can be done to protect young people? 1) Even when I was younger I was always told to not talk to strangers online. I’d imagine that message is more powerful than ever these days and that message should continue to be strong, plus, don’t underestimate how smart kids with tech are too. And/or 2) Simply get young people off the internet as much as possible. Developing minds cannot learn so much responsibility so young, it takes, time, effort and human contact. I even see early cause to ban under 18s completely from, not technology, but the internet, but I’ve rambled enough.

When it comes to autism, or learning disabilities, it is the case that there are a lot of people with those conditions, who are being arrested nowadays, particularly for image, or grooming offences. But, the courts have never accepted this as a defence, because they argue that these individuals still know the difference between right and wrong.

As for thought crimes and what ifs. The people who get caught by those online entrapment operations, are not just communicating with a child, they actually wanted to meet a child and will have travelled to what they thought was a meeting, only to be met by a vigilante, or the police. They are attempting to commit contact offences, which means they are potentially dangerous. They are certainly a lot more dangerous, than most of the people who just look at images.

Although I do agree, that there is a determination to criminalise certain kinds of thoughts, which is why police use people's internet browser history, and their phone messages, as a way of reading those peoples minds. Even the things that a person likes on social media, or what they retweet, can be used as evidence of them having the wrong type of thoughts.

I have Smoothwall installed on my laptop, by the police, which is the same software that schools use to spy on kids, and monitor their thoughts. On their website, they boast that if a child types in a certain keyword, which would indicate a potentially harmful thought, then they can contact the school and have a teacher speak to that child, in less than 30 mins. This is a truly terrifying sort of mind control, yet once those children go home, they have access to devices which are not filtered or monitored at all.

A lot more could be done to protect kids, because chat rooms are creating a market and they need better moderation and proper age verification, as well as removing all the anonymous ids. Many of the usernames you see on those platforms, are highly sexualized, making it obvious what those people are looking for.

One way to prevent these offences from happening, would be for tech firms to install better filters on mobile phones and any other devices, which would be switched on by default, so that it then would be up to the parents to switch them off.

Devices with cameras, should simply not be sold to anyone under age. Since the courts have decided they are too immature to be able to consent to having their picture taken, we should not be giving them the means to do it.

It is already possible for the police to go into these chat rooms and offer help to people who need it, although how many would accept such a offer is debatable and those online vigilantes could give people warnings to help with prevention, instead of entrapping them, but then they would not get their 30 secs of fame on social media. So I think both of these things are unlikely to happen.

The way in which online publicity of crime, is being used, to increase the punishment for certain offences and ruin lives, is a modern phenomenon, we are all aware of. But that information does not have to be made public in the first place. There is plenty of scope for police to use conditional cautions instead, which would allow people to get the help they need, whilst also ensuring that the police and probation were keeping an eye on them.

Although the damage is done, by giving vigilantes access to social media, where they can spread the details of offenders, it begins with the police decision not to issue a conditional caution and the CPS decision to prosecute, plus the courts choice to publish the addresses of defendants. This is where the focus ought to be, because without that info, the press could not report on these offences and the vigilantes could not find their details, in order to identify them.

AB2014
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xDanx - 6 Feb 22 2:01 PM
I too have made attempts to post my response on this subject and I honestly do not have the words to express how this makes me feel.

What I will say though is, I do not think these groups including the police, should be "hunting" for anyone using these various apps or websites where people communicate. For the purpose being that no actual crime has been committed when someone talks to a decoy. And, more importantly, it should be the responsibility of the parent keeping their child safe online, not the police. Yet many judges are now giving people 10 years on SOR and even a SHPO for basically "what if". Unless there is an actual victim involved then it should be reported on via what ever app or website for the police to then pursue and investigate, not splashed around social media for likes making the claim "this is for your safety and ours" and dealt with by the police. By posting these encounters online, it is destroying peoples lives which many do not seem to care about, ends careers which then prevents people from finding more work meaning they will claim benefits and no longer be able to contribute to society, prevents them from getting any actual help because all people seem to care about is punishment over rehabilitation and, prevents getting actual legal advice. Because if you have no job or money then you simply can not afford legal defense.

The justice system is a mess and its only purpose is to punish, there needs to be a new system in place where people are actually given the chance to change their lives around BEFORE being made subject to public scrutiny. there is more I would like to say but I will leave it here for now.

It's not true that a crime has not been committed. Attempting to commit a crime is a crime, and these are people attempting to communicate with a child. The main difference is that the police have clear procedures that they have to follow, whereas vigilantes have none. It used to be the case that if you had video of that sort of thing (I'm thinking of Roger Cook here), you couldn't show it without prejudicing the case, but if you gave it to the police you lost the effect of your video. That doesn't appear to be true anymore, as the police originally told the vigilantes that they were prejudicing cases, but they're not interested in the CJS, only in making themselves feel big. Embiggening themselves, you might say.

On a related topic, I was in prison with a guy who had been recalled after being convicted of sending text messages to an under-16, even though she had repeatedly said that she was 40, and there was evidence to prove that. He never met her or even tried to meet her, but it's a strict liability offence and back to prison he went, for longer than his original sentence and the 42 days he was given for the text messages. That's a separate issue that took a while in the courts. Lucky for him he found a great lawyer.

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Robert Lightfoot, former head of NASA, said it succinctly in his parting speech in April 2018: Protecting against risk and being safe are not the same thing ... [W]e must move from risk management to risk leadership. From a risk management perspective, the safest place to be is on the ground. From a risk leadership perspective, I believe thats the worst place [we] can be.

GO


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