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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Barrow Facebook group to name and shame peadophiles is one year old

A MOTHER involved in setting up a Facebook page to name and shame convicted child sex offenders a year ago says they have proved they are not a vigilante group, despite police concerns.

Keilly Devlin says Communities Against Paedophiles Southlakes has in excess of 4,000 members with new requests still received daily.

The 38-year-old helped found CAPS nearly a year ago – police immediately tried to shut it down and quizzed some of the group’s organisers.

Public protection officer, Detective Inspector Nick Coughlan branded the site as “inappropriate”, claiming it could create more danger to the public by forcing offenders underground.

Miss Devlin, from Barrow, said: “We have 138 pictures of convicted paedophiles. One year on, we have shown that our group is still needed. It isn’t causing problems to the policing of paedophiles. Not one paedophile has been approached, threatened or run out of town.

“We have warned thousands of people about different online threats. We can warn about online threats as soon as we are aware.

“As an administrator on CAPS I have had hundreds of private emails from concerned parents aware of an offender living close to them and their children. They are worried and ask for our advice.

“We tell them, ‘do not approach the offender, keep your children away from the offender’s house and stay vigilant not only with their own children but all children’.

“Now we have been going for nearly a year the police can see that we are a group of concerned parents and not a group of vigilante, aggressive parents trying to move offenders on or to enforce our own laws and ways.

“We understand the police play a big part in gaining evidence and bringing about convictions of the paedophiles and I thank them for that. I understand their worries in the beginning but we have proved ourselves trustworthy, and I still stand by what I said then. The only way to help keep children safe is to tell parents where these paedophiles are.”

DI Nick Coughlan said: “Our stance on this issue remains the same; any account on social media which highlights personal details of offenders can result in misidentification and vigilante actions. Anyone with concerns around vigilantism or child abuse should call Cumbria police on 101, or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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