Members of the public turning to vigilantism in an attempt to catch out pedophiles have been sent a firm message - “you’re getting in the way of justice”.
The warning comes as an increasing number of people, with good intentions but the wrong execution, try to take crime into their own hands and catch out child predators.
“We all want to be protective of the vulnerable, especially of the children who are the most vulnerable,” Queensland Law Society president Christine Smyth told 7 News Online.
“To take vigilante action can in fact interfere with our ability to protect the vulnerable.”
After posing online as a 15-year-old girl, a Gold Coast man who asked not to be named, took it upon himself to catch out a 32-year-old man who allegedly requested sleepovers and sexual favours on dating app Tinder.
“Who are you here to meet?” the Gold Coast resident said as he approached the man on a BMX bike outside the RSL in Currumbin on Sunday afternoon.
“Are you going to kiss me up and down my legs, you’re a pedophile mate,” he shouted as the man frantically pedalled away.
The Gold Coast vigilante spoke to 7 News Online and said he had told local police, but now wanted parents to be aware just how quickly and easily their children could become involved with such sinister people.
“He wanted her to stay over at his house overnight and was saying he could buy some drinks and they could go down to the creek," the man claimed.
“Some of the s*** he was saying to this girl was just f****** disgusting.”
Ms Smyth said vigilantes confronting pedophiles were not only breaking the law themselves, but they were also putting their own lives in grave danger.
“They through their own actions can find themselves in breach of the law, stalking and trespassing just being the start of them.
“People who are inclined to criminal activity, especially the most heinous of the kind, are not the kind of people who feel constrained by the law when they themselves are threatened by vigilantes.”
The Gold Coast man quickly found himself in that very same situation when he received a message from the alleged child predator saying “I got your number plates, I am going to f****** kill you”.
Seven News Online contacted Queensland Police for comment but they were unable to confirm whether they had received the video and reports regarding the man’s attempt to catch an alleged pedophile.
Today's top news headlines - March 15