How to Catch Sexual Predators

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Due to the seriousness of their crimes and their ability to disappear into the rest of the population, sexual predators inspire a lot of fear. In order to protect those we love, sexual predators must be caught and identified. While this isn't easy to do, if more people did their part, society might have less to fear. The police are certainly trained and ready to do their job, and here are some ways that everyone in the community can help out.

  • Understand the psychology of the sexual predator. It is difficult to predict who could be capable of committing such crimes. As experts Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager note, "the fundamental problem is that in the general population, violent behavior is a low frequency event." There are risk factors, however, including age, offense history, childhood family factors, criminal attitudes and progress in treatment for their problems.

  • Watch for anything out of the ordinary. Criminals of any kind rely upon the tendency of people not to pay attention. Take note if there is a person walking past your neighbor's house several times within an hour, peering into the windows. Ask around if you see someone hanging around the elementary school after the last bell with no child in tow. Notifying the police of such observations allows them a chance to follow up.

  • Monitor the online data provided by recent laws. When convicted of certain sexual offenses, people must subsequently register wherever they go, alerting community members to their neighbors' history. These are sometimes state matters, but you can find national resources at Family Watch Dog. Once you are able to identify someone as a predator on sight, it is easier to have them caught by police for suspicious activity.

  • Set up a sting operation. As it's fairly complicated to do so, sting operations are usually best left to law enforcement. First, the conditions are arranged in such a way that a predator can commit a crime, or express interest in doing so. For example, a sexual predator interested in young children will often respond if an undercover adult contacts them, pretending to be underage. From there, the pretend youngster suggests a real-life meeting. When the predator shows up, police intervene.

  • Reinforce in the community that predatory behaviors are not acceptable. When everyone in the area understands the true emotional cost of sexual crimes, juries and judges will be less forgiving, ensuring that sexual predators, when caught, actually go to jail.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful not to break any laws yourself. Contact the police and allow them to handle any situation that may become dangerous for anyone involved.

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