Police may work with paedophile hunters in future admits Norfolk Police Chief Constable

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Norfolk Police Chief Constable Simon Bailey has admitted police may need to work with so-called paedophile hunters despite claims the groups are putting children’s lives at risk.

Channel 4 handout photo of Stinson Hunter. Picture Richard Ansett/Channel 4. Channel 4 handout photo of Stinson Hunter. Picture Richard Ansett/Channel 4.

Mr Bailey, who is the national lead for child protection at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, made the concession after a BBC investigation found a rise in evidence from the groups being used in court.

It was revealed that while 11pc of court cases in 2014 for the crime of meeting a child following sexual grooming used vigilante evidence, this rose to 44pc to 2016.

The vigilante groups often pose as children online they film people they meet.

But Mr Bailey told the BBC: “[These] vigilante groups are putting the lives of children at risk.

“They might not perceive it that way, but they are potentially compromising our operations.”

However, despite police across the country urging the groups to stop, this had not happened.

Now, Mr Bailey said police may have to work with the groups in the future.

MORE: Norfolk chief constable’s warning to so-called paedophile hunters

He said: “I think that’s something we’re going to have to potentially have to look at, yes, but it comes with some real complexity.

“I’m not going to condone these groups and I would encourage them all to stop, but I recognise that I am not winning that conversation.”

And in a series of tweets posted this morning (Monday) Mr Bailey also turned his attention to internet service providers.

He added: “[The groups] are not the solution to the threat of grooming, the solution is the service providers ensuring children can use the web safely. We are doing more to protect children than ever before we cannot meet the threat alone. The time has come for tech companies to meet their moral and social responsibility.”

In December last year a video filmed at Norwich Railway Station by so-called paedophile hunters appeared online.

Stinson Hunter, who featured in Channel 4 documentary The Paedophile Hunter, posed as a teenage girl before meeting with a man in the city.

When the man arrived at the station, carrying flowers, he was met by Mr Hunter and his colleagues who filmed the incident.

It is not clear when the video was filmed but it was posted on social media and has been shared thousands of times.

Mr Hunter also shared the full chat logs between the pair on Facebook.

In one message Mr Hunter wrote: “Thank you but I should be honest and tell you I’m only 14.” The man replied with: “To young you should be at school then.”

The man later insists the pair should meet up. He wrote: “I int a prevert buy the way u seem a nice person.”

In other messages the man wrote “I could be peter pan and u could be my wendy” and after one reply he said “Is that all I get bk lol.”

At the time. police confirmed the video was from to an old case, which was referred to them in June 2015. The matter was investigated, suspect identified, and no further action taken.

Other news

A housing development in a Norfolk village, built on council-owned land, has hit a major milestone, after every home in their phase one build has been sold.


Norfolk and Waveney is set to feel a lot warmer this week with some places seeing highs of 27C.

Families of seven Norfolk soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan came together in Swanton Morley to unveil a memorial to their loved ones.


England are set to take to the World stage as the last group for the World Cup get ready to play today.

Most Read

Saturday, June 16, 2018

An extraordinary stand-off took place at a Norfolk tip as customers were locked in when a man refused to pay to dump his wood.

Read more
Norfolk Police
Yesterday, 22:05

Firefighters have been called to a building blaze in Fakenham.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:35

A major search for a 75-year-old man who went missing while out on a walk with his family along a Norfolk beach will continue this morning.

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

The craft brewing boom has prompted a Norfolk maltster to invest £6.7m in its ability to make small batch deliveries of specialist grain.

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

Thousands of Norfolk residents are proud to have been born and bred in the East of England for generations.

Read more
United Kingdom

Local Weather



max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy