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Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles Review

An incredibly hard watch from Channel 4 but one that is so informative.

Hunting Paedophiles follows a specialised area of the police force that look into online child grooming, mainly involving chat rooms but also dating sites like Grindr, that for some reason do not have a minimum age restriction on their site despite being an adult dating site.

These specialised units pretend to be children on these different sites to lure in paedophiles. They never contact anyone first themselves, they always wait for someone to contact them and in the first few messages to the person they express very obviously that they are below the age of consent and then it is up to the person on the other end of the chat to either walk away from this child that they should not be exploiting or whether they will continue the conversation and possibly in some situations try to meet up with them.

It’s a scary world out there when children are so easily accessible through the Internet. I know back when I was a teenager my friends and I would be on things like chat roulette where you would talk to strangers over videocam and we never saw anything wrong with it. It was a joke and a laugh but to think that it could’ve been so much worse and the people on the other end of the screen could be disgusting human beings didn’t even cross our mind.

I think that’s the problem with children and the Internet is at that age you do not see what is happening as wrong unless it gets to the point where you are being physically exploited. I don’t think you take it as seriously as you should, I never did, and looking back now I can see how easily it could’ve been that I could’ve got myself in trouble just by talking to people online. I met one of my ex boyfriends through chat roulette! That’s how much trust I had in the Internet at that time when really I should’ve been so much more cautious.

They say in the show that they’re never going to be able to catch every single paedophile that is in the world. They can just try to limit the amount of ones that are out there and thankfully by them doing their job it means that they are talking to them rather than an actual child. It’s especially shocking how the age of paedophiles is slowly becoming younger, there was a man in his 20s who had been doing it since he was 16/17 because he didn’t see anything wrong with it and was getting away with it. People usually picture these sorts of men as moustache weirdos with glasses that hang around parks but it’s not that anymore, it could literally be your next door neighbour.

The worst thing I found with this show was how little time these disgusting men served, and it was mainly men in the show, they will get a few years in jail and then a few years on the sex offenders register. To me that is not enough! I do not understand why anyone would ever come off the sex offender register. If you have tried to solicit sex from a child why should you then two years later be taken off the sex offender register and be able to live your life as a normal person? It makes no sense to me, I understand them going to jail for X amount of time but I really do believe that they should be on the register forever because, while we want these people to change and reform, we never really know if they do or not.

I would not recommend the show because it is only on Channel 4 for a set amount of days before it is taken off, but what I would recommend for me personally is, if you have children or if you are a young person yourself check who you’re talking to online. Check who your children are talking to online, what websites they’re on and what they’re doing. If you can keep an eye on their phones if they have them, let your kids know the dangers of the Internet. When I was a teenager and the Internet was becoming a big thing we still saw paedophiles and predators as men in vans or men on the street, we never saw them as men on the Internet, and in this day and age the Internet is so dangerous and so full of these people that it’s really vital that everyone is educated and steps are taken to make sure that children are kept safe.

Did you watch the show? What did you think of it?

Until next time.

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