New Zealand

New Zealand vigilantes confront man who allegedly tried to meet boy

Group arranges meetings with potential predators through fake Tinder and Craigslist advertisements

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 January, 2018, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 January, 2018, 5:35pm

A video has emerged of a man who was caught on camera in Auckland allegedly trying to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex.

The video is one in a series of recordings made by a vigilante justice group who have taken to social media to reportedly “catch and expose paedophiles”.

A member of the group told the Herald that he and a friend decided to expose paedophiles after reading a report by Greg Hallett alleging that top figures in the Government and the judiciary had been linked to child sex abuse.

“We just thought there are so many sex offenders in New Zealand who are apparently getting name suppression.

“We’ve all heard stories about there being paedophiles in New Zealand who are not getting hard sentences. The police are not doing a particularly good job, so it’s time for us to take matters into our own hands.”

Around five alleged paedophiles have currently been listed on the group’s page.

The vigilantes hunt down the alleged offenders through a fake Tinder dating account and Craigslist ads where they pose as an under-age child.

A video posted on January 6 shows the group approaching a man who has allegedly arranged to meet with a fictitious 15-year-old boy.

They question the man about his intentions and provide him with the opportunity to repent for his actions.

The man, who appears to be middle-aged and dressed in a suit and tie, is nervous as he speaks with the group for around 20 minutes.

He admits having an attraction to teenage boys, and having brought condoms with him to the meeting.

When asked if preying on children is a disgusting thing to do, and whether a child can give consent, the man states that he has “a difference of opinion” from that of the law.

“Yes I am attracted to teenage boys. Would I ever consider doing something with someone who didn’t want it, absolutely not,” he said.

When the vigilante group state that a person under the age of 16 cannot give consent, the man tries to argue his case by saying the child in question was only three weeks away from turning 16.

After 20 minutes of toing and froing between the group, the accused finally decides to take the opportunity to apologise to the camera.

“For the viewers I’m sorry, I’m sorry I came here tonight, I’m sorry you came out, I never wanted to hurt anyone, that’s true, that’s always been true. I made some bad decisions.

‘For me, who knows what the consequences will be. This is something I am going to have to live with and who knows how it is going to affect the rest of my life.”

The group state on film that their intention for the videos is to benefit society and they get nothing positive out of the experience.

Police have discouraged the group from taking the law into their own hands.

“Police are aware of the Facebook page ... and while we understand the community’s frustration at criminal offending and the power of social media to spread information, we recommend potential offending or suspicious behaviour is reported directly to police,” Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael told the Herald.

“Vigilante action such as this could harm current and future police investigations targeting online offenders.

“Police would hate to see actions such at these hinder or prevent a prosecution against online offender.

“We strongly discourage members of the public from taking matters into their own hands as they could place themselves and members of the public at risk.”

Anyone who has concerns about potential offending is asked to contact police immediately.

Read the original article at The New Zealand Herald