In recent years there have been a proliferation of so called Peadophile Hunter Vigilante groups or individuals, who take it upon themselves to set up fake online profiles of a child with a view to luring potential offenders into attempting to commit offences with the person they believe to be a child. Typically, a meeting is arranged at which the alleged offender is confronted by the vigilante in a sting operation, and the police are then notified.
These vigilantes are controversial. Some have lauded their voluntary efforts to catch people they consider to be a danger to society. Others, including the police, take the view that law enforcement should be left to formal law enforcement agencies and that unregulated, untrained and unaccountable persons engaging in vigilante action is unacceptable. There have been calls from senior figures to make it an offence to impersonate a child online without lawful authority. Particular controversy has arisen from those groups who live stream and broadcast their citizen’s arrests and street interrogations of their prisoner.
Nonetheless, these vigilantes continue to operate and at Mowbray Woodwards we have substantial experience of dealing with the cases from all over the country. Specialist representation from those experienced in such cases can make a real difference to the outcome, whether that be in relation to the admissibility of evidence, the use of different charges or in respect of sentencing. We can help.
If you face a police interview or investigation, or if you have to go to court, then you should urgently seek expert legal advice. Early intervention can often make a significant difference. If you have not yet received legal advice or if you have had the duty solicitor and you want ongoing expert assistance, support and representation then contact us now.
For confidential and impartial advice call 01225 485700 or email email@example.com