A SUSPECTED Coventry paedophile was arrested at the weekend after allegedly arranging to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
The 25-year-old man, who is believed to be from Foleshill, was caught by self-styled online child abuse investigators, Letzgo Hunting.
The man was met and filmed by the group at Hinckley train station, before being arrested by police officers on suspicion of arranging to meet an underage girl for the purpose of sexual activity.
Letzgo Hunting posed as the 14-year-old the man believed he was talking to – a tactic the group employs as a means to ensnare the predatory individuals.
In a preliminary video, released by the group online, they read out messages claiming to be between the man and their decoy, in which he stated he wanted to ‘kiss and cuddle’ the girl and had had relationships with an underage girls in the past.
Letzgo Hunting then released a follow-up video online which showed their encounter with the man in question at Hinckley train station prior to his arrest.
In the video, he can be heard pleading with the group not to hand him over to officers, saying: “I am so sorry for what I did, but I am begging you – I won’t ever target anyone, anywhere and I will do anything if you just let me leave now.”
But his pleas fell on deaf ears and the man was arrested by officers, having since been released on police bail until trial.
However, in a statement from West Midlands Police, who have taken on the case, a spokesperson stated that the actions of groups like Letzgo Hunting were not supported by the force.
They added: “Where we have intelligence or information about people acting suspiciously online we will act quickly and robustly.
“While we appreciate this is an emotive subject we do not encourage vigilantism of this kind and would warn those who take this approach that they could be breaking the law.
“They could also be disrupting criminal investigations and compromising the safety of vulnerable victims who would be best protected by the police.
“Anyone with concerns about online grooming can report these to CEOP using the ClickCeop reporting button available at www.ceop.police.uk and on hundreds of other websites or, if you think a child is at immediate risk of harm, call 999.”