The founder of UK 'vigilante' group Predator Exposure has revealed how what began as just one man has become one of the largest such groups in the UK.
The group claim that in the 15 months that they have been active, they have caught over 30 predators.
The founder, Philip, gave an insight into how ’Predator Exposure’ operate to Neil Prendeville in an interview this morning on RedFM.
Philip claims that most of the 30 people they have caught have been convicted and sent to prison and that they are "just waiting on the others".
In terms of how they locate the people that they will attempt to catch, Philip denies that they ’troll’ the internet.
"All we do is, we have a Facebook account and we just wait for them to add us," he explains.
The group say that they do not go looking for people but rather an individual will add them as a friend on Facebook and the group accepts and when the individual begins to talk to them, they will then engage in the conversation.
They have strict guidelines for the group in what they can and cannot do.
For example: "We don’t send any photographs whatsoever. And we also don’t mention the word sex."
Exactly what it says 🙅🏼♂️@LeedsCC_News @WLDispatch @ISPCCChildline #Keepingkidssafe always remember parents to check your child's computer. pic.twitter.com/laFV71pr01— Predator Exposure (@PredatorExposu1) July 4, 2017
The police in the UK do not condone the actions of groups such as ’Predator Exposure’ because their actions can interfere with other official operations or cases.
However, according to Philip, "They are coming around to realise that we are doing a good job."
’Predator Exposure’ do not view themselves as a vigilante group and resent any association with such groups.
"I can’t stand the word vigilante. I hate it," says Philip.
"People see vigilantes as taking the law into their own hands, getting these people, giving them a good hiding. We don’t do that."
Philip first began the group after a friend asked him for help when she discovered that her daughter had been targeted by an individual online.
"I caught the person and I just thought, ’this is too close to home’. So I just started up by myself and now there’s 20-odd others."
He believed that there was not enough being done to tackle the serious issue.
When asked whether he thought a similar group should be established in Ireland, he said that it would be "really good".
"Every city and every country should have people like us to protect our kids," Philip said.
"You wouldn’t believe how many of these people - people just don’t realise how many people are out there. It’s full of them, it’s just full of them."
’Predator Exposure’ is in the process of looking to expand as they currently travel all over the UK.
Speaking on how establishing the group has impacted his own life, Philip explains, "it’s changed my life, it’s changed the way I look at people.
"Everyone who I look at, I’m suspecting them. It’s bad, I never knew there would be so many."