The Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK, has ruled that ‘paedophile hunters’ do not violate the ‘privacy rights’ of individuals who are suspected of being involved in the grooming of children.
The case follows the successful conviction of Mark Sutherland after he was found to have tried to groom someone who he believed was 13-years-old.
The 13-year-old was, in fact, a member of a paedophile hunting group who had set up a fake profile on dating app Grindr.
Sutherland did not know that the profile of the ’13-year-old’ was, in fact, part of a sting operation that had been set up by the group of volunteers who are passionate about ensuring the safety of children.
Sutherland appealed his conviction for trying to groom children, arguing that his right to ‘private life’, enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, had been ‘breached’ by the successful sting operation.
However, delivering the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday following the appeal, Lord Sales said that the appeal had been “unanimously dismissed”.
The Supreme Court concluded that: ‘The interests of children have priority over any interest a paedophile could have in being allowed to engage in criminal conduct’.
Lord Sales said Sutherland believed he was communicating with a 13-year-old boy and had no “reasonable expectation of privacy” because a child could tell an adult.
He added that authorities have a “special responsibility to protect children against sexual exploitation by adults” and that overrides the right to privacy for such “reprehensible” communications.
There are now dozens of paedophile hunting groups dotted around the country.
Their volunteers often bravery confront suspected paedophiles, detaining them as they wait for the police to arrive.
The groups then hand over all of their evidence to the police with the aim and hope of bringing the sexual predators before the courts and thus helping to protect children.
While the police do not officially endorse the activity of paedophile hunting groups, many officers do acknowledge that they simply do not have the resources to go after every sexual predator.
The paedophile hunting groups often have the backing of parents who are concerned about the willingness and the ability of paedophiles to search for victims online.
And the fact that paedophiles not only have to contend with the security services but that they now also have to contend with highly motivated volunteers who, like everyone else, is sickened by their vile and disgusting behaviour, means that the ability of paedophiles to seek out their child victims is hampered further.
One such group is called: ‘UK Child Force‘.
Their brave volunteers have caught hundreds of suspected paedophiles by setting up their own sting operations.
They often film the moment when suspects are confronted as they wait to meet ‘children’ who they have spoken to online when, in fact, the ‘children’ are brave UK Child Force volunteers.
Do you agree with what paedophile hunting groups are doing? Let us know in the comments below.
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