WATCH: Video shows man slashing throat on Facebook live after being confronted by pedophile hunters

Authorities generally discourage so called paedophile hunters (image via the Liverpool Echo)
Authorities generally discourage so called pedophile hunters (Image via the Liverpool Echo)

On Thursday, August 24, a Liverpool man slit his own throat on a Facebook livestream after being accused of grooming a child by a group of self-styled 'pedophile hunters'.

The Facebook footage, which has since been deleted, is said to have depicted a confrontation between the vigilantes and a 55-year-old man in a parking lot near the Liverpool police station. The man, upon being confronted, supposedly reached into his car, retrieved the knife and slit his own throat.

youtube-cover

As of now, the case is under investigation by local authorities. The names of the pedophile hunters have not been released.


Liverpool man has been accused of grooming a child

According to Merseyside Police, the man has been arrested on charges of possessing a knife and grooming a child under the age of 14. After he was injured at the scene of the confrontation with the Facebook vigilantes, authorities set up a medical tent to provide him with emergency treatment.

In an official statement, Merseyside Police said:

"An investigation is underway and a scene in place in the area whilst officers continue witness enquiries and examine CCTV footage."

The statement continued:

"Please be mindful that this is a live investigation and not to speculate about the circumstances of this incident as it could jeopardize our enquiries."

It is unknown whether or not the pedophile hunters faced any consequences after the incident. The man is reported to be in a stable condition.


The vigilante Facebook pedophile hunters

According to the Conversation, pedophile hunting has gained an increase in popularity in the last few years, as vigilantes film themselves confronting suspected abusers before streaming the footage on social media platforms such as Facebook.

As per the UK Government website, most of these vigilante groups operate by impersonating children online, attempting to bait any potential abusers. The UK government has announced that even soliciting a decoy child provides grounds for an arrest.

The BBC reported that in 2021, 150 paedophile hunting teams confronted at least 1148 abusers. Often times, after a confrontation, they would subsequently provide evidence to the authorities and facilitate an arrest.

Despite the fact that these groups may aid in investigations, Cambridgeshire assistant constable chief Dan Vajzovic expressed his concerns over the rising number of these groups in a press release.

He said:

"When these groups say that they are acting in the interests of children, largely they are acting in their own interests, their self-aggrandisement and their desire to exercise force against so-called perpetrators of child abuse."

He also added:

"(Some groups were) perpetrating offences including extortion, blackmail and exhibiting violence against those that they are targeting."

He urged anyone interested in vigilante action to join the police, stating that this was a safer and more productive way for people to protect children.

Quick Links

Edited by Somava