Pedo Hunter hits back at police criticism

UPDATE

THE man who calls himself the Coffs Coast Pedo Hunter has responded to police criticism regarding his vigilante activity.

The man, who does not want to be named, says he doesn't intend to stop his crusade to bring down men who he claims want to engage in criminal activity with underage girls. 

Speaking to the Advocate by phone, the vigilante questioned a statement by Coffs-Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Jameson, in Wednesday's paper.

The vigilante said he had sent screenshots of his conversations with other men to police. He says he poses as an underage girl on numerous dating websites in an attempt to snare alleged offenders.

He says personal reasons drive his actions, saying people he knows who have been traumatised as children were still dealing with that trauma.

The vigilante, who said he was a father, hoped he could raise awareness about cyber safety and encourage parents and guardians to talk to their children about the importance of stranger danger. 

He said the idea for the Coffs Coast Pedo Hunter came about after seeing similar people engaging in vigilante activities elsewhere in Australia as well as the UK and Canada.  

WEDNESDAY

POLICE have criticised a local vigilante for attempting to confront men, who they say intends to take part in sexual acts against minors.

The self-titled 'Coffs Coast Pedo Hunter' posts videos to social media where they front men about alleged intentions to engage in sexual activity with underage girls.

The vigilante claims to start conversations with men on online dating sites by posing as an underage girl. From there, an arrangement is made to meet in a public place around the Coffs Coast.

Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said police have spoken with the person behind the footage.

"I am aware of the video footage and I have viewed it but I am not aware of any other evidence as outlined by the person recording the video," Det Insp Jameson said.

"The actions of community members in being vigilantes against crimes, even those that are highly deplorable like sexual assault, cannot be supported."

Det Insp Jameson said the person responsible could find themselves in trouble under the law.

"Any vigilante action of persons who have no concept of how to produce admissible evidence in court could leave that person open to criticism or civil action despite how well meaning their actions," he said.

He urged the public to leave such matters in the hands of police.

"The NSW Police Force and particularly our detectives are highly trained and experienced to tenaciously pursue any complaints," Det Insp Jameson said.

"If anyone has any information on any crime then that should be reported to police in the first instance where an appropriate investigation can take place."

The Advocate has attempted to contact the person behind the Coffs Coast Pedo Hunter social media accounts.

To report crime, call Coffs Harbour Police 6691 0799.



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