So now we have a group of Perverted-Justice copycats in bloody ol' England, botching investigations just like they did here in America. The Facebook group for these trolls have already been removed. Now if only it was that easy to remove the same websites in the USA!
e to print
Leave justice to us, police warn vigilante paedophile hunters using Facebook to lure suspects before confronting them
- 'Letzgo Hunting' members pose as underage girls for chats with predators
- They set up meetings, film suspects and hand evidence to police
- Group releases dramatic footage of members confronting 'suspect'
- Police have warned them to leave justice to them
A band of parents have formed a vigilante group to snare suspected paedophiles.
Their tactics have led to six arrests – but police forces have reacted with anger, warning that they could be compromising existing investigations.
The parents have set up dozens of profiles on dating and social networking websites, pretending to be girls aged 12 to 15.
Scroll down for video
The parents, some of whom are trained in the martial arts of jujitsu and karate, film the resulting confrontations, in which they demand an explanation from the men and warn them to expect to be arrested.
They then upload the footage on to their website and Facebook page. Their most recent video, created on Sunday, shows a suspect flee as a vigilante gives chase in a park on the outskirts of Leicester.
The group – three men and a woman assisted by 13 ‘helpers’ – admit to being vigilantes but say they are not a lynch mob and never threaten violence.
But Leicestershire Police warned that such ‘naming and shaming’ tactics threatened ‘chances of success in court’, potentially blocking justice.
Child welfare charity the NSPCC also urged the group to step back and said tracking down paedophiles must be done ‘by proper authorities’.
And Warwickshire Police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre added to warnings that vigilantes could harm investigations.
Letzgo Hunting’s leader, who calls himself Scumm Buster, told the Daily Mail he works in the security industry, but declined to reveal the backgrounds of the others. He said the group had 84 online profiles, using images of young-looking adult female friends with their consent. Sometimes these were airbrushed to remove signs of ageing such as wrinkles and ‘make the girls look obviously young’.
He said the explicit nature of some of the men’s online messages was ‘shocking’, but explained it was crucial to actually meet each suspect because that is what proves their ‘intent’ to break the law under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 by inciting a child to participate in a sexual act.
The men are asked to bring condoms and alcohol to the meetings and sometimes the female member of the vigilante group is used as ‘bait’ to ensure the men step out of their cars.
So far, they have carried out nine ‘stings’, resulting in seven confrontations. The other two men drove away after becoming suspicious.
As a result, Leicestershire Police have arrested three men. One further arrest has been made by West Midlands Police, one by Warwickshire Police and another yesterday by Nottinghamshire Police.
Scumm Buster said the group, aged 20 to 50 and from the Hinckley area of Leicestershire, are ‘close friends’ and openly film their suspects.
The footage is immediately passed to the police and is removed from the group’s website when an arrest is made. They are currently monitoring up to 50 men online, he added.