UK

Vigilante Paedophile Hunters, Letzgo Hunting, Pose As Underage Girls To Nab Criminals

22/04/2013 13:36 BST | Updated 22/04/2013 16:04 BST

Parents posing online as underage girls have identified and confronted seven alleged paedophiles four of whom have since been arrested.

The group of four, who call themselves 'Letzgo Hunting', was set up in January by leader, 'Scumm Buster,' originally to name and shame offenders, reports the Daily Mail.

Contact is made with potential predators through web chats. The group then build up a relationship online before arranging to meet.

letzgo hunting paedo hunters

The group's Facebook page

Scumm Buster said: "It's amazing to watch their faces drop as they realise they are not meeting who they thought they were.

"What's also scary is that we've had some men travel 40 or 50 miles to try and meet underage girls for sex."

The men are asked to bring alcohol and condoms with them in an attempt to further incriminate them.

Videos of the encounters are then uploaded on to their Facebook page.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5, Scumm Buster said: "We are vigilantes, definitely. We're not working within the law. But we're not a vigilante lynch mob.

"We're not there to hurt anybody. We are there to get an explanation.

"We try to get them to say, in as much detail as possible, exactly what they want to do."

Despite the arrests that have resulted from Letzgo Hunting's work, they have been told to show restraint by police.

A spokesman for Warwickshire Police told the Daily Mail: "It can compromise ongoing investigations and could spark an abuser to further harm a child or themselves.

"Those who take this approach to exposing suspected paedophiles could be breaking the law."

Leicestershire police have warned such actions could actually have a negative effect on the victims of child abuse.

A spokesperson told the BBC: "While we understand the strong feelings that motivate this kind of activity, it can seriously affect the chances of success in court, preventing victims from getting justice and increasing the chances of offenders walking free."

"It also fails to take into account that many victims of child abuse are children or family of the offenders, thus bringing extra distress to innocent people and affecting our ability to safeguard victims."

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