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Man arrested on suspicion of grooming in Starle Close, Canterbury

A man has been arrested on suspicion of grooming after an undercover sting by a group of self-styled "child protection enforcers".

Police descended on Starle Close in Canterbury shortly after 8pm on Sunday after being called by members of Silent Justice, who claim to have snared the man by posing as 11 to 14-year-old children online and being sent requests for indecent pictures and videos.

The group live-streamed proceedings on Facebook and police have arrested a 55-year-old man on suspicion of grooming.

Earlier this year police warned against vigilantism after a series of confrontations between so-called "paedophile hunters" and suspected sex offenders.

Chief Superintendent Thomas Richards said back in March: "We would strongly advise against getting involved in, or setting up activities to entrap those suspected of intending to commit offences.

"Although seemingly well-meaning, this can significantly hinder our work, compromise ongoing investigations and negate months of investigative work."

Police have also said that awareness among children about the dangers of meeting strangers has grown considerably and incidents where children meet adults in these circumstances are "extremely rare".

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