11 Nov 2013

Sex trap website 'may not be illegal'

2:35 pm on 11 November 2013

Police say there may not be anything illegal in the actions of the people running a website apparently designed to trap online sex predators.

The site operators pretend to be girls aged 13 or 14 and if the men contacting them agree to meet the girls for sex, then their photos and details such as their names, occupations and addresses are posted on the site.

The police's Online Child Exploitation Agency says one of the site's administrators has handed over copies of correspondence between the fake child account holders and the men who contacted them, and the agency is working through that information.

The website was taken down at one point but is now thought to be back online.

The officer in charge of the agency, Detective Senior Sergeant John Michael, says the administrators are putting themselves at risk by arranging to meet the men but he doesn't think they are doing anything against the law.

Mr Michael says members of the public should not take matters like this into their own hands, as it takes skilled police work.

"The closure of the website is certainly one thing we're looking at," he says.