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AIBU?

To think Dark Justice/Guardians of the North are a bit strange?

44 replies

BlueNeighbourhood · 28/07/2017 23:38

Okay,

So as per a previous post I work in recruitment and when registering candidates we ask for criminal convictions. Because we live where Guardians of the North operate (Newcastle), I've had two people in the past week who have been caught out by them apparently talking to and agreeing to meet underaged children for sex.

I'm not 100% sure why I think it's a strange thing, because at the end of the day they're saving children from harm. But it's the vigilante element of it, they're having to pose as children and are basically luring men into talking to them.
We were discussing it at work, and a colleague said 'They can literally knock on someone's door with a video camera and say "were here because you've been propositioning someone for sex" and it goes online'.

I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on it, in our office, the four of us in my department can't quite put our finger on it but think it's a very strange concept - basically taking over from police.

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MunchMunch · 29/07/2017 02:30

Personally I like the idea and quite a few from my area have been picked up so that's no bad thing in my eyes.

The videos I've seen they've always been respectful, they don't swear or antagonise so although yes, they're vigilantes, they are taking a lot of pressure off the police who, as we know, have had budget cuts and are understaffed.

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Cocklodger · 29/07/2017 02:47

So long as there is no law breaking or violence on the side of the vigilante I see no issue whatsoever.
The only ones I know of (Stinson hunter) collect proof too to give to the police. I can see how it is open to abuse though

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Spuddington · 29/07/2017 03:01

There's a group operating near me at the moment. I work in a pub and a few days ago we had a guy come in and buy a soft drink. Stood at the bar with his phone, looked like he was waiting for someone.

Three blokes stormed in filming him on their phones, followed by the police. He was there to meet what he thought was a 14 year old boy for sex.

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PassedTheMoronTest · 29/07/2017 03:05

A friend of mine shared one of Dark Justices videos on Facebook the other day. I was aware that these groups exist, it was a real eye opener for me to see how many people they are actually catching.

I wouldn't class it is luring men in as the men are the ones that contact the decoy profiles and still carry one the conversation after they have been told the age, imagine if these groups did not exist a lot a real understand children would be getting groomed!

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MrsTerryPratchett · 29/07/2017 03:10

I'm not generally a fan of entrapment. But I will make an exception for child sex offenders.

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BlueNeighbourhood · 29/07/2017 15:36

Thank you all for your opinions, we keep seeing them more and more. I wonder why they haven't gone more into a formal role with the police or working with them or as a department.

It's an interesting concept, and one the police seem to have got more and more on board with since the Stinson Hunter programme. What always got me, is what's in it for them? Surely the aim would be to work with the police/exploitation units but never seems to happen.

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BoneyBackJefferson · 29/07/2017 16:07

Why would an unlicensed, unregulated group of people, that could make any thing up about anyone and put it on the internet be a concern? (sarcasm for those that missed it)

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muchomo · 29/07/2017 16:39

A lot of the people in these groups have been victims of child sexual abuse or had close family members who have been victims too. In response to someone who asked what's in it for them, I saw a program bout this a couple of months ago and that was their response

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reallyanotherone · 29/07/2017 16:41

Isn't it entrapment? Can they make charges stick if the catch them this way?

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muchomo · 29/07/2017 16:41

What I find weird is that these groups have to exist in the first place as the police don't seem to have the resources to catch them, what'd even more 'weird' is that these same predators are given minuscule sentences even when then are caught with so much evidence against them.

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WinifredAtwellsOtherPiano · 29/07/2017 16:43

I think it's a hero complex, but as long as they're working close to the police it could work.

I regularly travel across London and spend an hour having a pint of blood painfully removed from my body. What's in it for me? Surely I must have some kind of nefarious motive.

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muchomo · 29/07/2017 16:44

From what I've send their evidence has lead to numerous convictions. No it's not entrapment in the documentary these men actually thought they were speaking to children, the filth they were sending made my stomach turn, if it wasn't for them these predators would be taking to team children. A lot of the time the predators were talking to several decoys (fake children) I think you need to prioritise your sympathies

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NotLachsAgainMother · 29/07/2017 16:44

I'm not generally a fan of entrapment. But I will make an exception for child sex offenders.

This. It's just not high on the list of things I can get worked up about. Normally I believe that we should all follow the rules and leave catching crooks up to the police. But when it comes to this..... I'd imagine it must stop some people simply because they're too worried about getting caught. If that meas protecting children then I'm all for it.

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muchomo · 29/07/2017 16:45

Hero Complex? That's your opinion

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jay55 · 29/07/2017 16:47

The police have been asking people to stop it down here in the south west. Saying it is interferring with police opperations.

I can see what they mean. If the police are tracking a group for multiple offences then a vigilante group taking out one member on a minor offence can fuck everything up.

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KimmySchmidt1 · 29/07/2017 16:48

They're not really taking over are they since they have no power and can't arrest or convict anyone. Of a crime. Given how much the Tories have cut police budgets and numbers of police, and how little priority police have given protection of children ( particularly if there is a racial element) im not losing sleep over it.

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LouHotel · 29/07/2017 16:50

Their not luring them into speaking to children. Their upfront very early on in the conversation and state an age. I think it makes you feel uneasy because we tend to live in a bubble of where we dont like to think there are many people capable of harming children but youve come into contact with two of them.

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ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 29/07/2017 16:52

Why would an unlicensed, unregulated group of people, that could make any thing up about anyone and put it on the internet be a concern? (sarcasm for those that missed it)

This^

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Hidingtonothing · 29/07/2017 17:22

Why would an unlicensed, unregulated group of people, that could make any thing up about anyone and put it on the internet be a concern? (sarcasm for those that missed it)

The decent groups bring detailed evidence to each sting, chat logs printed out and saved to disc, all verifiable from the suspect's own phone. Police are called immediately and all evidence handed over, statements made etc as soon as the suspect is arrested. They can't just 'make stuff up', the police would not arrest without strong evidence and the hunting teams have often put months of work into building that evidence before they get anywhere near a physical meeting with the suspect.

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BoneyBackJefferson · 29/07/2017 17:40

The decent groups bring detailed evidence to each sting

So by your own words there are groups that are not "decent".

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Hidingtonothing · 29/07/2017 17:48

Yes, there will always be copycats. The reputable teams are becoming more well known and will often work together but I know there are groups out there they won't work with and that tends to be because those groups don't do things 'by the book'. The more popular groups on Facebook tend to be the reputable ones, I guess the majority of people want things to be done the right way so more of these predators get successfully prosecuted.

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BoneyBackJefferson · 29/07/2017 19:11

yet they are still unlicensed, unregulated and don't follow any rules other than those that they make up themselves.

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FlandersRocks · 29/07/2017 19:25

they're having to pose as children and are basically luring men into talking to them

You can't 'lure' a decent man into arranging sex with a child...no misunderstanding or 'she looked older' when they're upfront about being 12/13 etc in the conversations.

I can remember an 'incident' with my BIL years ago. We were at a family members 21st birthday. He was about 20 at the time. He got chatting to a girl about the same age as him at the bar and me and dh teased him about it turning into a good night for him as she was obviously flirting with him. Ten minutes later he came back looking a bit sick because he'd just been told by a mate that it was someone's younger sister and she was 14. So obviously he'd walked away as soon as he knew.

Anyway...my point being is that any man 'could' get involved in conversation (lured?) with a top-young girl. But as soon as they know that they're too young, any decent man would walk, not arrange sex with her.

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NotLachsAgainMother · 29/07/2017 19:33

You can't 'lure' a decent man into arranging sex with a child.

^^ this

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Hidingtonothing · 29/07/2017 19:44

The do set the rules themselves yes but those rules are based around what the police need in order to arrest and secure a conviction. What they do would be pointless if they didn't broadly observe the same rules for evidence gathering as the police because that evidence has to stand up in court. The bigger groups are obviously doing that because they are achieving convictions, which can only be a good thing.

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