Man arrested at Yorkshire shopping centre on suspicion of sexual grooming after Facebook Live sting

A man has been arrested at a shopping centre on suspicion of sexual grooming after he was confronted live on Facebook over plans to meet a 13-year-old girl.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 2:43 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:25 am

British 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.

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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.

“BTP will therefore 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.

“Anyone with any information about child sexual abuse is encouraged to contact police so a thorough investigation can take place and perpetrators brought to justice.”