Here is the moment when a suspected paedophile is caught by vigilantes after he arranges to have sex with a ‘12-year-old girl’.
The ‘girl’ is in fact a fake profile set up by paedophile hunters in order to trap adults grooming children for sex.
The suspect is alleged to have started a sexually explicit conversation online with the ‘girl’ before sending her a sexually explicit picture of himself.
He urges the ‘girl’ to send him explicit pictures of herself before arranging to meet her in Dewsbury town centre.
But shortly after the man arrives at the rendezvous he is confronted by the vigilantes who set up the fake profile.
He admits to having sexually explicit chats with two other girls online; these also turn out to be fake profiles set up by the vigilantes calling themselves Silent Justice.
The vigilantes interrogate him on the street during which the suspect denies he would have sex with underage girls.
The suspect says he only sent the sexual messages ‘for the sake of it’.
At one point during the interrogation one of the hunters says he would have ‘done in’ the suspect so he ‘would have never walked again’ if it was the vigilante’s daughter.
The suspect is then taken into a police car.
Such vigilante groups have come under fire from police for hindering forces’ investigations.
But Gary Shields, of Silent Justice, told the Examiner: “It’s a joke. They spend 12 to 24 months with people. In that time how many children are being raped?
“We get all the evidence in two weeks.
“I’ve done all the work and my statements and they have to carry out their own investigations.”
So-called paedophile hunters have also been criticised for entrapping child abusers.
But Shields (not his real name) says his group doesn’t use such methods as the evidence obtained won’t stand up in court.
He said: “They have to lead the conversation. They have to ask for my phone number; I can’t give it out.
“I can’t mention sex; they have to talk about it.
“I can’t ask them to meet otherwise the court will say I’ve enticed them.”
Shields adds that his group has so far had a 100% success rate.
He details several child groomers who he says he has helped put behind bars.
Shields said: “So far every one of them has been charged.”
A police spokesperson said: “A 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempting to incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence. He remains in police custody.
And here is what the police say.
Thy say vigilante paedophile hunts may compromise police investigations and pose an ‘unacceptable’ risk to the public.
West Yorkshire Police have urged ‘paedophile hunters’, who snare child grooming suspects online, to stop their activities.
Police said such ‘stings’ could bring potential child abusers into contact with the public.
A force spokesperson said: “While the force does of course share the concerns of these groups regarding the internet activity of potential child abusers and the danger they present, it must be stressed that the activities they seek to engage in are the responsibility of law enforcement agencies.
“Due to this we ask them to refrain from this ‘hunter/exposure’ style activity.
“There is always the danger that the activities of paedophile hunter/exposure groups could interfere with ongoing police/law enforcement investigations eg surveillance; pose a risk to children in a local area by inviting persons into the vicinity you identify as posing a risk to public.
“As the nominals posing the risk would not be in these areas otherwise these risks associated are unacceptable to West Yorkshire Police.”