A self-proclaimed paedophile hunter who used social media to post videos of himself making citizen’s arrests has been arrested and charged by South Australian police.
The Adelaide western suburbs man gained public attention after confronting people he alleged were child groomers and filming them, then calling authorities.
The 42-year-old man had communicated online with people he suspected of being paedophiles under the guise of being a young boy.
Police said the man had been charged with breaching the Evidence Act and other offences, including publishing the identity of a person charged with a sexual offence.
Detective Superintendent Mark Wieszyk said the man could have put himself at risk by meeting with alleged offenders and could have hindered police investigations.
“Police are bestowed … direct powers through law to prevent and detect crime — it is our job,” he said.
“There are many reasons for this, including the complexities involved in being able to present a fair case in court, where there is a natural justice and compliance with the rules of evidence.
“It is not appropriate for individuals to take matters into their own hands.”
He warned members of the public not to become vigilantes.
“Pass on any information you have to police, don’t take this onboard yourself,” he said.
The man is due to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court next February.