Labour does not support vigilante-type actions against sex offenders as reported in the Herald on Sunday this morning but says the police must be utterly scrupulous in investigating sex offences in order to keep public confidence and prevent people taking the law into their own hands.
- Then start arresting the vigilantes!
The Herald on Sunday today reported on a social media site (Website, Facebook) that sets up on-line conversations between men and a person pretending to be a 14 year old girl, and if the conversations become sexually inappropriate and reveal a potential for criminal offending the men are exposed.
"There is no place in our justice system for this vigilante type of conduct," Labour’s justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.
"If anyone thinks another person has committed an offence, or is about to, then the proper thing to do is to notify the police."
"I have no doubt that the confidence we are all entitled to have in the police to give claims of sexual violence due seriousness and priority will have been shaken this week, and the police have rightly copped fierce public criticism for their handling of the claims of sexual offending against under-age girls in West Auckland."
"But ultimately it is only the police that have the power and resources to go after offenders and mount criminal prosecutions, and if we want sex offenders to be brought to justice, even to get help as part of any sentence, then we have to rely on the police to do that."
"Vigilante action might satisfy the blood-lust of those taking the law into their own hands, but it doesn’t bring justice, it doesn’t necessarily stop the offender and it might just drive the offender’s unlawful behaviour further underground at the cost of more victims."
- Underage sex sting website condemned (Video Available)