To catch a fish you need bait, to catch a mouse you need cheese, to catch a paedophile you need children – but that’s not very ethical.

So, what can you do to prevent adults using internet chat rooms to contact underage children for sex? It is a criminal offence, according to Dutch law, known as ‘grooming’. How do you catch these guys, though? Enter the concept of ‘Pedo-lokagent’.

You might recognise the prefix ‘pedo’, as it is short for ‘paedophile’. ‘Lokagent’ is more difficult to translate. ‘Agent’ means policeman, while the verb ‘lokken’ means ‘to lure’. So a ‘lok-agent’ is a policeman who tries to get criminals to commit a crime, basically entrapment, in this case for ‘grooming’. And it works!

In the Netherlands a 38-year-old man was arrested after he arranged a date with someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy. He sexted the boy and tried to set up an actual date for sex. In reality, he wasn’t talking to a young boy at all; there was a ‘pedo-lokagent’ at the other end of the computer.

It seemed a good idea to catch paedophiles, but last week the Dutch Appeal Court decided otherwise. The man was released because there was no 13-year-old victim. In reality, this man had just arranged a date with another adult male.

That his intention was different didn’t count. This kind of entrapment is against the law, according to the Court.  Now our Minister of Justice is trying to find a way to get around this obstacle, but that might be difficult because of international treatie’s.