Fatal assault of 73-year-old in Arnhem linked to “pedo-hunters”

Police have confirmed that the death of a 73-year-old man in Arnhem last month was related to “pedo-hunting”, reports De Gelderlander.

This is when civilians attempt to take justice into their own hands by hunting down people they believe to be paedophiles.

The man was left badly beaten after being attacked by a group of youths on Wednesday, October 28. The attackers fled the scene and the man later died from his injuries.

To meet a 15-year-old boy

The group of teenagers who attacked the man apparently pretended to be a 15-year-old boy in a chat room for homosexuals. The man responded to a call to meet the boy for sex, however, it is unclear at this time whether or not the man was actually a paedophile.

Once the man arrived at the agreed meeting point he was met by the group of youths.  Jamil Roethof, the lawyer for a 15-year-old suspect, tells AD that things then “got out of hand.”

“They wanted to confront him with the fact that he wanted to have sex with an underage boy. No more. Then it got out of hand. The victim also fell badly. I don’t think there was a preconceived plan to abuse him.”

The lawyer’s client was not involved in the assault, however, he was present when the group made the call to the man and when the man first arrived.

Police urge “pedo-hunting” to stop

The Police Chief Oscar Dros has urged the public to stop hunting down people they believe to be paedophiles, AD reports. “Our message to citizens is: stop pedo-hunting. Stop persisting. Stop provoking. Leave this to us.”

He says that while civilians may believe they have enough evidence to convict a person, in reality much more work is needed. “I don’t know of an example in my police unit that led to the conviction of a child molester,” says Dros.

A common occurrence

According to Dros, there have been 250 incidents involving “pedo-hunters” since July of this year. “That varies from underrun to assault, threats and publicly pillorying people on the internet. These are only the incidents of which we know. There are probably many more.” As a result, the police have had to help known paedophiles to go into hiding.

Dros says that the time spent investigating “pedo-hunters” should be put to better use. “We have hundreds of vice detectives who are passionate about their work. The criminal behaviour of “pedo-hunters” takes a lot of time, which we prefer to invest in preventing child abuse.”

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Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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