Man arrested on Blackpool's North Pier after 'anti-paedophile' sting

A 49-year-old man was arrested on the North Pier
A 49-year-old man was arrested on the North Pier

A man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual grooming after police in Blackpool were tipped off by an internet vigilante group.

Police in Blackpool said they were contacted by an online anti-paedophile group this morning claiming a man was on the North Pier, who thought he was meeting a child for sexual activity.

Officers attended the scene at around 10.45am today and arrested a 49-year-old local man. He is currently in custody.

DI Alisa Wilson, from Blackpool Child Abuse team, said: "We rely on the assistance of the public in preventing and detecting crime. Working closely with our community is a vital way in which we gain information, and their active engagement in fighting crime helps us to do our job.

"Cases involving child sex abuse are extremely serious and have a huge emotional impact not only on the victims, but on whole families, and the communities in which they take place. 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.

"Revealing the identity of suspected paedophiles gives the suspect the opportunity to destroy evidence before the police can investigate them. 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."