Leicestershire police have refused to condemn an anti-paedophile vigilante group that calls itself ‘Letzgo Hunting’, despite the fact that a victim of the group who had not even been charged by police later committed suicide.
It is believed that the man who hanged himself could have been driven to suicide by the potential stigma of the accusation that he was a paedophile and the fact that Letzgo Hunting publishes videos of its confrontations online.
Disgracefully, although the Coroner in the case recorded a verdict of suicide, no mention at all of Letzgo Hunting was made at the inquest.
TheOpinionSite.org must point out that no evidence has ever been provided showing that the man was in fact a paedophile.
Leicestershire police say that they ‘discourage’ the actions of Letzgo Hunting as such vigilante action could jeopardise legitimate police enquiries.
However, given their lack of action, one must question the sincerity of the police in this matter.
Despite the fact that Letzgo Hunting may very well be committing an offence of Incitement every time it goes after one of its targets, the police in Leicester have not even bothered to investigate its members or their actions, let alone suggest that they might be prosecuted.
Vigilante action can be prosecuted both under laws relating to incitement and also public order legislation so there is no excuse.
Police are always very quick to arrest anyone who has been anonymously accused of being a paedophile – even from 50 years ago and often without any evidence – yet seem strangely reluctant to arrest those who have decided to take the Law into their own hands and who continue to do so on a regular basis.
The fact that the police refuse to do anything about a thuggish band of vigilantes who have decided to make their own laws – and act upon them – both condemns the police for their lack of action and negates their standing as upholders of the law.
It is simply not sufficient for those responsible for upholding the Law of the Land to merely ‘discourage’ the actions of a group that sets out to entrap and confront members of the public who may be entirely innocent.
According to its leader, a man who calls himself “Scum Buster” and who is so brave that he refuses to reveal his true identity, Letzgo Hunting is a group of parents who are concerned that the police are not doing their job properly when it comes to protecting children from online paedophiles.
What Mr “Scum Buster” does not point out however is that responsibility for protecting children falls first to parents, not the police and certainly not vigilante groups.
Furthermore, perhaps Social Services might wish to enquire as to who was looking after the vigilante’s own children while their parents were out playing policemen.
Neither senior police officers nor politicians have made any comment whatsoever regarding the actions of Letzgo Hunting – or regarding any other vigilante group for that matter.
The reasons for this are very clear:
Neither politicians nor policemen wish to fall out of favour with parents – who ultimately pay for the salaries of policeman and MPs – or to be accused of supporting paedophiles.
Successive governments, together with charities, police and the media – all of which have a vested interest – have done a pretty good job over the last 20 years or so in scaring parents witless with exaggerated threats that there is a paedophile on every corner and that every man in Britain is a threat to their child.
As a result, paranoid parents are likely to be the last people to condemn the actions of those who wish to take the law into their own hands in order “to protect children”.
Letzgo Hunting state that they are not violent; they do however admit to chasing their victims, bombarding them with questions and publishing videos of the confrontation online.
Very strange behaviour indeed for a bunch of people who claim “to work with the police”.
“Scum Buster” has also said that despite the suicide of their latest victim, Letzgo Hunting has no intention of changing the manner in which it operates.
This method of operation largely consists of parents posing as young girls online and then seeking to entrap those who are stupid enough to engage in conversation with them; no doubt a method of working learned from the United States where vigilante groups are common.
Having set up their trap, they then entice their victim into a face-to-face meeting using the justification that he wouldn’t be there at all if it had not been his intention to lure a young girl into unlawful sex.
Such speculative ‘evidence’ is laughable and would never stand up in court. Intention has to be proved, not assumed.
As Letzgo Hunting refuse to reveal what they say to their intended victims online in order to achieve their objective of entrapment, one can only presume that what passes between the bogus young girl and the intended victim does not conform to the requirements of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
Any ‘evidence’ that the group may therefore obtain is utterly useless as it would be inadmissible in court whether presented by the police or anyone else.
TheOpinionSite.org cannot but believe that the only reason for vigilante groups to exist in the first place is because members of such groups seek power over others and self-aggrandisement.
Clearly, such people have very low self-esteem and should seek therapy.
Letzgo Hunting claims there have been 12 arrests so far as a result of its actions; so far however, no charges have ever been laid by the police against those arrested.
Not only is the vigilante group utterly useless in terms of law enforcement but it is also highly likely that they are actually harming children rather than protecting them.
By getting in the way of legitimate police action against suspected offenders, Letzgo Hunting runs the risk of undermining any legitimate police investigation or subsequent court action and thus of allowing suspected paedophiles to go free and possibly to abuse children.
The fact that the group led by “Scum Buster” does not seem to have the intelligence to understand the damage that it is doing to genuine child protection undermines any faith one may have in the intentions or motives of Letzgo Hunting.
The real issue though – and the one that should concern the public the most – is the fact that if even one vigilante group is allowed, whatever the excuse or alleged motive for its actions, other groups are likely to spring up with different agendas.
After all, if vigilante groups opposed to paedophiles are permitted to roam the streets creating havoc and terror outside of the Law, why not vigilante groups opposed to immigrants or Muslims, Gays or Jews – or you and members of your family?
TheOpinionSite.org despairs at the fact that politicians and senior police officers are so pathetically weak when it comes to dealing with something that may possibly offend readers of the Sun but which is almost certainly outside of the law.
The former head of CEOP, Jim Gamble has understandably reacted to Letzgo Hunting by saying that legitimate police investigations could be undermined and evidence contaminated or lost.
Gamble did not however suggest that he would complain to Leicestershire police that they had not arrested and investigated the members of Letzgo Hunting but did at least suggest the group could be breaking the law by their actions.
Unfortunately, Mr Gamble is hard to take seriously after having resigned his position in CEOP following a row with the Home Secretary, Theresa may over funding and independence.
Dai Davies however, an ex-officer of the Metropolitan Police and now yet another self-styled ‘child protection expert and speaker‘ (no doubt for a significant fee), simply whined and moaned that there were not enough policeman protecting children, that sentences were too short and that judges are failing the public.
It should be pointed out however that Dai Davies cannot be taken seriously either as he is now an ‘ambassador’ (whatever that means) for the children’s charity, Kidscape and as such, his views are hardly likely to be objective or impartial.
To be absolutely clear, TheOpinionSite.org believes that children who are genuinely in danger should be protected.
Such protection however must come first from parents and not from agents of the state, lobbying groups and charities setting out to make money and certainly not from a bunch of thugs roaming the country and trying to entrap members of the public.
There is no place for any vigilante group in a civilised society, whatever the alleged motive may be.
Such groups are an affront to the law, to common decency and to the democratic system itself and should be prohibited under the law; indeed such groups can be prosecuted already under current legislation if there is the political will to do so.
Groups such as Letzgo Hunting should be outlawed without further delay and, if found guilty of an offence, its members thrown in jail.
Failure to do so will open the door to other vigilante groups that takes a dislike to certain sections of society and may end up with any such group acting as judge, jury and executioner.
There is already one dead man, presumed innocent in the eyes of the Law but who died as a result of vigilante action. There should be no others.
No one should ever forget that the Nazis started life as a bunch of vigilantes who deliberately set out to victimise certain people, even though those people had not been convicted of any offence whatsoever.
A strong warning from history comes to mind; a warning that should be heeded by politicians and policeman alike…
It is to be found in the sermons in Erlangen, Marburg, Göttingen and Frankfurt (January 1946), as quoted by Martin Niemöller (1892-1984):
“When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.”
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