Sunday 18 November 2018

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Vigilante group in Douglas

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 4:13pm

An Garda Síochana has warned against vigilante groups tackling child sexual exploitation in Cork.

Gardaí were responding following instances this week where a man suspected of online child grooming was confronted by a voluntary child protection group at his home.

In a video posted online, Irish woman Louise from Child Protection Awareness confronted the man at his house in Douglas after monitoring his behaviour using a fake child account on a social media website.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said the actions of such groups were a “cause for concern”.

They said: “The activity engaged in and the manner of confrontation between such groups and their targets has the potential for violence and could result in harm to persons present.

“There are also concerns over the legality of the actions of such groups operating in Ireland. Finally, the manner in which such groups operate and how they interact with their chosen targets prior to and during the arranged meeting has the potential to affect future criminal proceedings.

“An Garda Síochána would urge anyone with information relating to the potential sexual exploitation of children to report it immediately to An Garda Síochána, where it will be investigated by professional investigators,” the statement continued.

Speaking on 'The Neil Prendeville Show' on RedFM earlier this week, Louise had explained how the group had caught the man after setting up an account, posing as a 14 year old child.

She said laws against people intending to groom children were not strict enough in Ireland.

“The thought of somebody taking a child’s innocence away is just so upsetting,” she said.

"Our children are our future, and we need to do more to protect them. This is just way too frequent.”

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