North Yorkshire Police have urged self-styled 'paedophile hunters' to behave with caution after an arrest was made in Ripon.
Officers have arrested a man in his forties on suspicion of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity after information was passed on by a paedophile hunter group.
The arrest was made on the night of Sunday February 10 in Ripon. The man remains in police custody at this time.
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The force said in a statement:-
"In this specific case, it is important to remember that the man has a right to a fair trial and we strongly urge people - especially online - not to act in a way which could compromise the course of justice, this includes posting images and details on social media or websites.
"North Yorkshire Police will act appropriately on any information which is brought to our attention. However, our position on so-called paedophile hunter groups reflects the position of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, in that 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."
Last week five members of the Leeds-based group Predator Exposure - which recently featured in a TV documentary - were questioned and charged with offences including false imprisonment and assault in relation to their recent activities. They are due to appear in court next month.
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The group regularly broadcasts live 'stings' on social media in which suspected paedophiles are confronted in public places.
Kelly Meadows, 39, of Lawnswood, is charged with one count of false imprisonment.
Phil Hoban, 43, of Beeston, is charged with false imprisonment and a public order offence and Jordan Macdonald, 18, of Farnley, is charged with false imprisonment.
A 59-year-old woman has been served with a postal requisition for the alleged offence of false imprisonment.
Jordan Plain, 25, of Farnley, has been charged with false imprisonment and assault by beating.
Mr Hoban and Mr Macdonald have also both been charged with a second count of false imprisonment and assault by beating.
Ms Meadows has also been charged with a second count of false imprisonment.
Dean Wallis, 51, from Meanwood, was charged with false imprisonment and assault by beating.
National Police Chiefs Council lead for child protection, Chief Constable Simon Bailey, said:-
"Don't try to take the law into your own hands, you could undermine police investigations, creating more risk for the children we all want to protect."