British Transport Police issue 'cease and desist' notice to 'vigilante' predator hunters

The force issued the warning to groups who try to snare potential predators online after the news broke that a man had been arrested in a sting on a station platform earlier today.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 7:22 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:46 am
Police have warned online groups not to take vigilante efforts

The force said the groups must 'cease and desist' after the sting at the train station platform in which a man thought he was going to meet a 13-year-old girl, but ended up on a Facebook Live video 'sting'.

It said: "BTP will provide a cease and desist notice to groups which have been identified as using these methods to confront suspects.

"This approach is in line with NPCC guidance to ensure that cases involving child sexual abuse are investigated robustly, and victims are safeguarded.

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Read the original story: Transport Police have confirmed that a man was taken into custody yesterday afternoon following an incident at Meadowhall Interchange railway station.

A group which describes itself as a team of "sexual predator hunters" used Facebook Live to broadcast footage of them meeting the man at the station at around noon.

The group are understood to have posed as a 13-year-old girl to carry out the sting.

A spokesman for British Transport Police confirmed a man had been arrested at 12.11pm on Wednesday and that the case had now been passed to South Yorkshire Police.

They added: “We fully understand people’s desire to protect children from potential harm, but while these actions might seem like assisting police inquiries, they can often jeopardise an investigation and put vigilantes in danger. “