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Father posing as girl in online chatrooms to track down paedophiles defends his tactics

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A father who poses as a 14-year-old girl on social networking sites in an attempt to track down suspected paedophiles has defended his tactics.

The man, a father-of-one who lives in Leicestershire, began visiting online chat rooms as a fictitious 14-year-old girl recently.

As a result, he says, a number of men from across the country have sent highly sexual messages to the girl's account.

He and the three people he works with claim to have met at least two men in public following prolonged online conversations.

The group has published online footage of them accusing the men of being there to meet the 14-year-old girl.

A 54-year-old man was arrested in Warwickshire on Tuesday, which the father claims is as a result of allegations arising from one of the campaign group's inquiries.

The father told the Mercury he decided to launch his campaign after a close friend had been convicted of offences against a child and possession of indecent images of children.

He said: "The first thing we say when we get into conversations online is, 'I am only 14 years old'. We are absolutely clear about that and we repeat the age throughout any conversations we have online.

"But we have still received highly sexual responses – in one case within 10 minutes of posting the girl's profile on a site.

"When we have met men in public there is an adrenaline rush.

"If I stop one of these people who target children online then I have potentially saved a lot of children from being abused.

"There are people out there who are doing work like this for profit but we are doing it because we want to save children from paedophiles, it's that simple.

"I am totally against violence and I have said from day one if anyone we film is assaulted in any way, we would stop doing this straight away."

He stressed that he passes all the information he receives to the police.

A Leicestershire Police spokeswoman said: "While we always encourage members of the public to contact us with any information they have about a crime, officers would advise against this kind of action.

"Investigations and inquiries into potential sex offenders are extremely sensitive and detailed, and have to be conducted in a way which ensures that prosecution of an offender isn't affected.

"Consideration also has to be given to any threats and harm to anyone involved in the investigation, plus family and friends of potential offenders.

"Anyone taking actions like this could find themselves at the centre of an investigation."

Father posing as girl in online chatrooms to track down paedophiles defends his tactics


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