West Yorkshire Police have confirmed that officers arrested a man in Holbeck on Saturday (13 January 2018) on suspicion of child grooming. He was interviewed and released on police bail with conditions pending further enquiries.
A group calling themselves Dark Justice posted this photo on Facebook on Saturday afternoon, claiming the arrest occurred at 3pm that day and that he had been grooming what he thought were two 14 year old girls.
The group set up false accounts on social media purporting to be under age children. They say they are not vigilantes and that they do not attempt to entrap or encourage those that contact with the dummy accounts.
A statement on their Facebook page states:
“When conducting our investigations, we never approach anybody first. Instead, we set up a profile and wait for messages.
“When we receive a message, we reply immediately and tell them that we are underage.
“When talking to anyone, we always try to avoid sexually explicit conversation. We act young and uneducated on the subject, and we NEVER encourage sexual chat or sexual behaviour.
“The people we talk to suggest a meeting, and at this point we take over and suggest a place where we know we can control whats going on, and where we’ll be safe.
“When a person confirms that they are coming, and when our team spots them, we ring the police and report the crime.
“We then confront the person with cameras, and ask them about their actions and intentions.
“As soon as they have been arrested we go to the police station to make statements.
“If someone suggests a meeting after a chat online with our decoy and then doesn’t show up for the meeting, our evidence is still handed in to the police and investigated.
“Some people are sceptical about what we do and how we do it.
“We’re not vigilantes who operate above the law, we’re concerned citizens who work closely with the police to help effect change and to keep our children safe!
“We will continue to work to catch these sexual predators who terrorise our children, and we’ll do our best to bring awareness to the epidemic our children are facing online today.”