A 31-year-old man from Toothill has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to groom a child.
He was arrested in Toothill, Swindon, last night at approximately 8pm and remains in custody at Gablecross this today.
The arrest comes about after a group of paedophile hunters broadcast the arrest live on social media yesterday evening something the public are being encouraged not to do by National Policing Lead on Child Abuse Investigation Chief Constable Simon Bailey who commented:
“Revealing the identity of suspected paedophiles gives the suspect the opportunity to destroy evidence before the police can investigate them. It can jeopardise ongoing police investigations and these people have no way of safeguarding child victims.
“It also leads to people who have been identified going missing or raising concerns for their safety. This can divert significant resources into protecting suspects, which would be better invested in investigating and, where there is evidence, prosecuting them.
“There is also the risk of wrongly accusing someone; if someone is wrongly accused of being a paedophile in a hugely public way that makes people who live with them, live near them, work with them assume they have committed the offence. The temptation to kill themselves may be just as great even if they are innocent; that is an appalling consequence to contemplate.
“The police service is committed to tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse in all its forms.
“We have invested in more undercover resources and other covert resources to catch those seeking to groom children online and we are already starting to see more of these offenders being brought to justice.
“We understand the desire to protect children but any member of the public who has information about child sexual abuse, online or otherwise, should get in contact with the police so we can investigate and bring people to justice. So called paedophile hunters are taking risks they don’t understand and can undermine police investigations.
“If any member of the public has concerns about online grooming, they should report them to their local police, to CEOP, or to Crimestoppers. If you think a child is at immediate risk of harm call 999”.