CLIVE SMITH: There’s nothing wrong with paedophile-hunter groups

Police forces will 'potentially' work with paedophile-hunter groups                                          'Picture: Shutterstock
Police forces will 'potentially' work with paedophile-hunter groups 'Picture: Shutterstock
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Along with the rise of the internet, came the rise of online crime with one of its most disturbing corners being child exploitation.

This has led to people forming their own groups looking to snare these monsters before they harm any children.

The police have never condoned these groups but the UK’s lead police officer on child protection has said forces will ‘potentially’ look at working with ‘paedophile-hunter’ groups.

In 2016 more than 44 per cent of cases of crimes in which a child was met after sexual grooming used evidence from ‘paedophile-hunter’ groups. With police forces already stretched it makes sense for them to work together. After all, most of the forces’ work has already been done for them.

Anything that looks to expose and lead to the arrest of these animals can only be a good thing.

These groups have only sprung up because the public has lost confidence in the ability of authorities to catch these alleged offenders.

I expect it’s embarrassing for the police that so-called amateurs seem to be doing a better job than them.

These groups aren’t going to go away though so they might as well work with them.

Are we supposed to just sit back and let paedophiles get away with trying to groom our children? We are always being told we are the eyes and ears of the police and to report crime. Why not this crime?

I’m at a loss as to why anyone would be against the idea. There are the usual do-gooders piping up about the ‘distress’ the accused might feel. Who cares about the feelings of a sex offender? Definitely not me. Apparently they might commit suicide...

And calling them vigilantes isn’t really painting these groups in a good light. It conjures up images of the ‘hunters’ turning up at a ‘meeting’ place armed with bats and shovels, when all they do is keep the accused there until the police arrive. In fact, they show remarkable restraint considering some of the vile messages these people are sending children.

I hope they continue to do their good work and more of these disgusting individuals are put behind bars.

HAPPY WITH PORTSMOUTH? IT MUST BE THE DRUGS

Portsmouth has been voted the third happiest place to live in the country. I’m sure it must be all the high-purity drugs going around at the moment, or the sea air perhaps...

Like most cities it’s got its faults but it’s actually pretty good – if you can battle through the traffic with your sanity intact.

Most people like a good moan and everyone seems miserable but I can’t imagine living up north.

God, some of those places are depressing. You’d have to self-medicate just to get through the days up there.

I see Southampton came third from bottom. I’m guessing the survey was done on the same day as the New Forest Show and all the ponies were scared off.

APPLAUDING THE OPPOSITION – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FORTRESS FRATTON?

There were some great goals on show at Fratton Park two weekends ago.

One of the best was scored by Fleetwood. It was so good Pompey fans applauded it!

Yes, it was a good goal, but clapping the opposition? No way, that is not for me at all.

Opposing fans and players used talk about how hostile Fratton Park used to be. Not any more. It can’t be long before we see half-and-half scarfs appearing.

The days of the crowd singing ‘you’ll never make the station’ have long gone, as has the game we all love in lots of ways.

You can’t go to a football ground in this country nowadays with a lid on a bottle of Fanta without a swat team descending on you.