However, the Netherlands wants to put an end to so-called “pedophile hunters,” with the Dutch police begging these people to stop exposing pedophiles after an elderly man was killed by a teen mob attack.
There are hundreds of such groups operating in Europe and the United States. In many cases, they pose as underage young people on websites and bait the trap. Once a potential pedophile expresses interest in meeting up with a victim, they set up a meeting. Typically, they will then confront the person with a video camera and give the evidence over to police.
In England, the efforts of these groups have led to a number of convictions. However, following 250 incidents that involved pedophile hunters in the Netherlands and one death, Dutch police have ordered citizens to stop detaining and provoking such people.
According to East Netherlands Regional Police Chief Oscar Dros, the efforts of these groups are misguided because the evidence they have is often “paper thin.” In fact, he said that he could not think of one example when such a hunt actually resulted in a sex crime conviction.
Last October, a 73-year-old man was beaten so severely by a group of teens in Arnhem that he died of his injuries. Police say the man agreed to meet a 15 year old boy for sex in an online chat room knowing that he was a minor. After going to an agreed meeting place, he was ambushed by the group of teens and died a few hours later in the hospital.
Incredibly, people gathered in Arnhem to pay tribute to him, calling him a “kind and friendly man”; apparently they were not bothered by the fact that the retired teacher tried to have sex with a 15-year-old boy.
An attorney for the 15-year-old who the man planned to meet said his client came up with the plan “out of boredom in this corona time.” His legal team says the teens only planned to confront the man and not attack him, but the situation got out of hand after the man fell awkwardly.
Dros said that around 250 incidents involving pedophile hunters had been registered since July. He called on Dutch citizens to "stop pedo-hunting; stop detaining; stop provoking - leave this to us." He said he had seen incidents where targets were physically assaulted, publicly shamed on social media and forced off the road – all of which, of course, pales in comparison to what their young victims go through.
In an ideal world, everyone who tries to commit this type of act would be caught by the police, convicted and put away for a long time. But the truth is that countless monsters get away with this day after day, and anything that may make them think twice, such as the prospect of being greeted by an angry mob rather than their next victim, is not necessarily a bad thing.
It’s clear that people want child predators off the streets, and if the police don’t want people taking matters into their own hands, they could start carrying out more sting operations and give this matter the serious attention it deserves.
Sources for this article include: