Dear Police Scotland,

In a recent HMICS report entitled “Strategic Review of Police Scotland's response to onllne child sexual abuse” it was revealed that in 2019 Police Scotland received 1,961 referrals for online child abuse (page 3):

On page 5 of the report it states:

“Almost half of the online grooming cases emanate from the activities of online child abuse activist groups (vigilante groups), who are unregulated and untrained. A more robust proactive capability on the part of Police Scotland would reduce the opportunities for these groups to operate.”

Please provide the names of all child activist groups referred to in the report and specify the number of grooming cases that emanated from each in 2019.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

Police Scotland

1 Atodiad

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Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

For anyone interested in the groups referred to that proactively target groomers online, here is one called Wolf Pack Hunters:

The group videos everything for the police. Here is one such encounter that has been viewed almost 300,000 times:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

BBC story:

"Police Scotland has launched a campaign targeting sexual predators who groom children online, with internet use rising during the virus lockdown.

Officers said the social distancing restrictions prompted by coronavirus had created a "period of heightened risk" for child sexual exploitation.

They have launched a social media campaign titled #GetHelpOrGetCaught.

It is designed to target men who have a history of offending or who are thought to be at risk of offending."

FOI Glasgow, Police Scotland

1 Atodiad

Good afternoon

Please find attached the response to your information request. Please accept our apologies for the delay of your response.

Kind regards

Information Management
Freedom of Information
Police Scotland
Clyde Gateway
2 French Street
G40 4EH

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI Glasgow,

Thanks for your response. It is good to hear of your unswerving commitment to extirpate child sexual abuse.

My attention was drawn to this part of your response:

"To explain, each former legacy force area operates its own recording system. These systems operate independently from each other and are not at present designed to enable the retrieval of the specific information required to answer your request."

I wish to amend my request in light of the above.

For the former legacy force area of Glasgow only, please provide the names of all child activist groups from which child grooming cases emanated in 2019. Please specify the number of cases that emanated from each.

Unfortunately, I do not know have any knowledge of how you keep your records; therefore, if the phrase 'the former legacy force area of Glasgow' causes similar problems with retrieval etc., please restrict my request to the police area of Glasgow that includes Buchanan Bus Station.

Yours sincerely,

J Roberts

FOI Glasgow, Police Scotland

1 Atodiad


Good morning

Please find attached the Service response to your information request.

Kind regards

Information Management
Police Scotland, Clyde Gateway
2 French Street
G40 4EH

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd taryn taylor anodiad ()

Is that what is known as "a get out of jail card"?

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

The Supreme Court has heard that a convicted paedophile's right to privacy was breached by the voluntary group that caught him:

'Mr Jackson [QC] told the court there had been 164 cases prosecuted in Scotland in the last three years involving paedophile hunter groups with a further 110 cases pending.

He added: "There is tacit encouragement of these groups because the Crown prosecute almost all the cases they bring to them.

"They cannot allow it without proper authorisation because of the type of crime that is being committed.

"If the interference is being done disingenuously by systematic use of these groups in order to avoid doing it according to the law then the evidence should not be useable."'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

'A convicted paedophile has lost a Supreme Court challenge over the use in criminal prosecutions of evidence gathered by paedophile hunter groups in covert sting operations.

The UK's highest court ruled on Wednesday that the interests of children have priority over any interest a paedophile could have in being allowed to engage in criminal conduct.'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Supreme Court ruling:

"59. Once evidence of the messages had been passed to the police by the decoy, the appellant had no reasonable expectation that the police should treat them as confidential, so that they should not make use of that evidence to investigate whether a crime had been committed. Under the scheme of the ECHR, they were bound to do so in order to safeguard children. Nor did the appellant have any reasonable expectation that the respondent should treat the messages as confidential, so that they should not make use of that evidence in bringing a prosecution in respect of his criminal activity."

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Some might be interested in this request concerning Dr Hafeez-Ur Rehman AWAN (GMC ref. 6032816) who was NOT erased from the medical register. He was caught grooming online by a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl:

Mr Justice Mostyn observed:

'46. Standing back I ask myself whether the disposal can be characterised as wrong. The conduct of the respondent was serious and deplorable. However, the sanction imposed by this specialist Tribunal was very carefully considered and was judged to be sufficient to meet the objective of protecting the public and promoting and preserving the reputation of the medical profession. I cannot say that it was wrong.'

Case No: CO/4891/2019

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Some might be interested in this UT appeal concerning a decision by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to place a paedophile on the Children's Barred List. It relates to England. The paedophile lost.

The paedophile pleaded guilty to possessing a single sexual image of 16 year old. But:

'40. ...The threshold contained within Schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 was not found to be met and, as a result, no sexual offender’s registration requirement nor Sexual Harm Prevention Order was required.'

Interesting point on the standard of proof:

'15. The DBS have also found on the balance of probabilities that: you have searched for terms indicative of indecent images (‘teens’ and ‘pre-teens’) for your own gratification; and you sexually assaulted your four year old granddaughter by rubbing her vagina on multiple occasions.”' (The CPS did not press charges on these allegations).

'152. Given our conclusion that the DBS did not make any error of fact or law in its finding of sexual abuse, barring was plainly inevitable.'

Paedophile's defence to possessing the image:

'38. ...“The purpose of my uploading the image of the two girls in the shower ... was due to its artistic merit, rather than anything else, i.e. the mistiness of the shower giving the scene an intriguing ethereal hue. My intention was to try to replicate it by sketch at a later date.”'

Transcript of police interview with the 4-year-old victim from para. 63 to 65.

Assessment of the paedophile and his evidence from paragraph 131 to 135 ('self-centredness and tendency to self-justification') :

Assessment of the victim:

'149. We are satisfied that Child A was a bright, articulate and well-adjusted 4-year-old with good linguistic skills.'

GF v DBS[2020] UKUT 204 (AAC)

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Another case related to the Disclosure and Barring Service - a former teacher (appellant) who 'was convicted of the office of causing/inciting a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity, contrary to s.10(1)(a) of the Sexual OffencesAct 2003':

CD v Disclosure and Barring Service[2020] UKUT 219 (AAC)

The 'child' involved was a decoy. The appellant failed in his challenge to have the terms of his sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) altered, even though the decision at paragraph 2 states:

'The entrapment which occurred is unappealing and in that regard one may have some sympathy with the appellant whose weakness was exploited.'

But things may change. He may return to the classroom soon (see para. 70).

What did the appellant do?

'62. The messages sent by the appellant to the supposed 15 year old included “U horny” “UR hot lad” “come for a snuggle” and “we could spoon, kiss n get naked.N see what happens” and offering to pay for a taxi for the “boy” to attend at his address. There was further contact via the app on the following day before the appellant terminated contact thereafter.The content was thus overtly sexual and was directed at someone believed to be, in law, a child and under the age of consent.'

The decision contains considerable detail on the appellant's Active Risk Management System (ARMS) assessment. Three judges decided the appeal.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Correction to comment immediately above: the tribunal panel comprised one judge and two members of the Upper Tribunal.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

I quoted the following above (3 June 2020):

'Mr Jackson [QC] told the court there had been 164 cases prosecuted in Scotland in the last three years involving paedophile hunter groups with a further 110 cases pending.'

Another thing to bear in mind is that these anti-paedophile groups also gather intelligence on wrong-uns in other parts of the UK which they pass on to like-minded groups. Mr Jackson's figures, therefore, would have underestimated the good that they achieve.

Here is one example of a Scottish group ('Wolfpack') having the suspect apprehended on 15 August 2020 by a London-based outfit ('Cobra'):

Interesting information on the worrying phenomenon of paedophiles changing their name by deed poll can be found here:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Approaching suspected paedophiles is not risk-free, according to online child protection group 'Improved Maximum Exposure'. In a 'sting' carried out on 16 August 2020 the group has claimed the suspect punched one woman on the back of the head, injured another and caused injuries to two men who were assisting. It is further claimed that the suspect has been charged with four counts of assault:

Following the arrest and subsequent release of the suspect, a protest took place outside the property where he was staying. Allegations of police brutality are made in respect of one woman who it is claimed was hospitalised.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

BBC story:

"Police Scotland has also announced plans to establish a "centre of excellence" for cyber crimes, with at least 150 specialist staff.

June was the busiest month ever for reported child sexual abuse.

Police Scotland recorded 226 crimes, an increase of 21% on the same month the previous year."

Is the conviction rate for those who commit child sexual abuse and who groom children online higher or lower than for rape and attempted rape?

'In 2016-17, the conviction rate for rape and attempted rape fell to the lowest level since 2008/09. In a year where there were 1,878 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the police, there were only 98 convictions.'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

From the Herald:

'MOVES are being made for criminal sanctions to regulate social media as official figures revealed online sex crimes recorded against children in Scotland during lockdown have surpassed five a day.

The report comes as Scottish police figures revealed a 20% rise in online sex crimes against children in Scotland between April and June.

There were 530 crimes recorded in the first quarter of this year compared with 438 in the same quarter in 2019.'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Facebook has cracked down on the live stings posted by paedophile hunters, so some of the links above may not work.

You can view a recent sting by one of the big Scottish groups here, If you wish to see how the teams operate:

Though approached in Scotland, the suspect, who is a children's author, has a home in England.

These hunting groups are not without controversy.

In one video (a different group) a suspect of short stature was led to believe that if he could kick himself in the head five times the police would not be called. After trying, he was told that he was going nowhere and to wait for the police:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Here is a recent sting carried out in Edinburgh. The predator had offered what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl £500 to film her having sex with him and his mate:

We are told that he was difficult to track down because of multiple addresses and accounts. A shocking allegation is made against Police Scotland. It is claimed that details of the predator were passed to the police two weeks ago but that nothing was done. It is also claimed that a real child may be involved.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

STS (West Lothian) knocked on a suspect's door in Falkirk last night. The suspect came to the door but quickly closed it once he realised who it was. The decoy was aged 13:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Here is sting from a few nights ago in a place called Mossend:

The light is poor. The suspect believed he had been 'set up' by someone who hacked his phone.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Improved Maximum Exposure spoke to a churchgoing father of two from Newmains on 20 November. The chat would have ruined the life of many a young girl. The group explained that the suspect's daughters would be spoken to by social services. The suspect also allegedly called his wife a 'cow' in the chat.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Improved Maximum Exposure spoke to another churchgoer yesterday. The Kilmarnock man gave his age as 72 and admitted to something from eight years ago. It was also alleged he was 'catfishing' - this is where a person uses the identity of someone else to deceive others online. He was described as a 'classic groomer' by one of the investigators. The decoy was aged 14.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Scottish team 'End Game' provided the decoy in a sting tonight that saw a Leeds man carted off in the back of a police van. The decoy was aged 14 and the suspect, who was not cooperative at first, has a pregnant partner. At the end of the operation, members of the team told the police they would provide support to the suspect's partner before attending the police station.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Are anti-paedophile groups and organisations breaking data protection laws?

'In relation to the first element of your request, the ICO has previously investigated a website called ‘Dark Justice’. This investigation was closed in August 2019 with the ICO advising the administrator of the website of necessary steps to improve data protection compliance.

We can also confirm that we have an ongoing investigation into a database of the type referenced in your request. At the current time we are refusing to provide any further information abou  this investigation in accordance with section 31 of the FOIA.'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Hunting Online Predators Everyday (Hope) spoke to someone from Aberdeen on 6/12/20:

The decoy was aged 13. His wife was in shock. Apparently he was texting while his wife was asleep in bed beside him.

The suspect allegedly sent an indecent image, wanted to meet and instructed the decoy what to wear. He also allegedly instructed the decoy how to perform a particular act on herself. An investigator described the chat log as one of the worst he had ever seen.

In a court case in February 2020 related to another Hope operation a member of the public exclaimed 'I can't listen to this' and walked out of the courtroom:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

A Wishaw man who it was claimed works (or worked?) for a bus company was spoken to on 15 September 2020. The decoy was a 14-year-old girl and we learned that the suspect was traced through his car registration number:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

This London man was caught last night (12/12/20):

'The Forbidden - Scotland' were commended on the quality of their decoy chat log. The video ends with the suspect being handcuffed and put in the back of a police car.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

People who catch paedophiles risk being convicted of a crime. This man came close:

'Unknown to most,

Sam was charged with abduction on a paedophile in Scotland and perverting the course of justice and also racially aggravated assault.

We can confirm that yesterday ALL charges have been dropped by the Scotland prosecution service.

One step closer to getting him back on the road.'

The above statement refers to one of the UK's leading paedophile catchers - a Newcastle man who has literally caught hundreds of them.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

The Forbidden Scotland spoke to a married man today who allegedly offered what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl £50 for a naked picture. He later said he had received pictures from 3 or 4 girls. One of the investigators explained that this meant real children were involved who would need safeguarding. It was also alleged that he asked the 13-year-old girl decoy to do something to herself with a brush:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

STS West Lothian spoke to a Cowdenbeath/Fife man yesterday. He was wearing a tartan facemask.

The robust interviewing technique elicited a number of key admissions. I can't really say what the suspect admitted to wanting the 13-year-old decoy to do to herself for his own sexual gratification. A psychiatric assessment may be required.

At the end of the video, we were told that the group was on its way to Edinburgh to speak to someone else.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Improved Maximum Exposure spoke to a forty-something in Glasgow yesterday who admitted coming to meet what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl:

The suspect initially denied speaking to any other girls, but his story changed when the investigator indicated that her colleague (who acted as another decoy) had received perfume from him. By the end of the video, which shows the suspect being handcuffed and being put in a police vehicle, the number of decoys involved had reached four.

The police were commended on their handling of the situation.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

An Aberdeen man received a visit yesterday from a team acting on behalf of STS:

The calm and collected investigator revealed that the suspect was talking to a 13-year-old decoy. When questioned about his 'normalising' of sexual behaviour, the suspect admitted to losing his virginity at the age of ten. He also claimed that he was trapped before shutting the door. The decoy's chatlog was highly commended.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

The Forbidden Scotland did the decoying that led to the arrest of a Telford security guard this evening:

The suspect was uncommunicative throughout and was described as a 'disgrace to the security industry'. It was alleged that he was 'obsessive' in wanting the decoy, a 13-year-old girl, to perform a particular act on herself. Team STOP caught him. It was said he would lose his job.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

A Glaswegian investigator questioned a suspect in Haltwhistle on 22/12/20:

Incisive commentary is provided throughout. The word 'nonce' is used to describe the suspect. This is an acroynm for 'not of normal criminal element':

It was alleged the suspect was talking to two decoys aged 13 and 14, that he made enquiries about underwear and that he expressed a preference for red. It was further alleged that he wanted to slap the decoys' bottoms. The suspect started to shake, but stopped after drinking some water from an unopened bottle given to him by one of the investigators. He was also offered a cigarette.


Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

The Forbidden Scotland spoke to this man in October 2020, but interestingly the investigator instructed the security team to let him run when he bolted. The man was allegedly speaking to a 13-year-old girl and teaching her how to do something to herself:

Someone on bitchute criticised the team for letting him run and not placing him under a citizens arrest. The law in Scotland, however, is different from that in England and Wales:

'In England and Wales, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 gives members of the public the power to detain someone without a warrant, provided the suspect is committing, or is believed to have committed, an indictable offence – that’s a more serious offence that would be tried in a Crown Court.

The law in Scotland is slightly different – there is no provision for citizen’s arrest in Scots Law.

However, there is a common law position that means using the minimum required force possible a member of the public can ‘arrest’ someone committing a serious offence.

Sean Caulfield, criminal defence lawyer at Hodge Jones & Allen, says there are a few things to consider before making a citizen’s arrest.

He said: “The question you need to ask yourself is, ‘is this a serious crime?’, ‘is there someone hurt in front of you?’, or ‘is the assailant or the thief getting away?’”

“If answers to your questions are Yes, and that there is a genuine loss here to someone, or there is injury or risk of further injury to someone, then you might want to act.”'

Link to a lot of UK stings, including ones by Scottish teams:

Few stings involve female suspects. This one does. It is alleged the suspect wanted to make a pornographic film with the 14-year-old girl decoy she turned up to meet. The video contains very strong language and scenes some viewers may find distressing:

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

STS - 4/1/21

Paisley student admitted to communicating with someone who told him she was aged 13:

He allegedly wanted to take the child (decoy) to a hotel or guest house and admitted sending her a video of a woman performing a particular act on herself. He also appeared to admit sending another video depicting one woman performing a particular act on another. He denied knowing the aged of consent in Scotland and incorrectly said that in his home country, Ghana, it is 13. Robust and effective questioning. Video contains some strong language.

'The Age of Consent in Ghana is 16 years old'

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Latest videos available on Noncepocalypse:

Child Protectors Scotland 15/8/19

Kirkcaldy man, 73, who was just about to have his tea admitted speaking to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. He also admitted sending an indecent image and telling the decoy that he wanted to make the child breakfast in bed. Said it was just 'banter'.

Maximum Exposure UK 2/8/19

Glasgow man denied coming to Stirling to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The team said they had 1,000 pages of chat.

Groom Resistors Scotland 14/7/19

Dundee man admitted coming to meet what he said was a 13-year-old friend for a cup of tea. He allegedly said in the chat that he wanted sex. He claimed he had a heart condition. He was given a bottle of water and admitted inviting the decoy to spend the night at his place. He allegedly told the decoy that they would enter his home by the back entrance to avoid been seen. He also denied having condoms on him.

Wol Pack Hunters UK Improved 17/8/19

Wrenthorpe man allegedly speaking to an 11/12-year-old boy (decoy).

Wrenthorpe is located in the Rhubarb Triangle of West Yorkshire:

The suspect admitted to being arrested before but would not disclose the nature of the offence. Later, he said he was not charged with any offence. He denied knowing the age of the decoy and said he thought the age given by the decoy was a typing error - he thought the 2 was meant to be an 8. The suspect asked: 'Can I ask a question off-camera, please?' The camera was lowered to the floor and he asked 'Is this going to be on TV or not?' The Camera was then raised. He allegedly asked for pictures and allegedly said 'Nice I like younger boys' when the decoy said he would be 12 in January. He Allegedly deleted all messages of a sexual nature. The suspect said 'yeah' when it was put to him that he was deleting only the sexual messages.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

The Forbidden Scotland 11/8/19

Hamilton man, 24, allegedly communicating with a 14-year-old female decoy. He allegedly claimed in the chat that he had slept with a 14-year-old girl. He also allegedly sent the decoy an adult film and allegedly enquired about sleeping with the decoy's mother. It was further alleged that he insisted that the decoy perform a particular act on herself. He said that the police had spoken to him about a certain matter but did not disclose the details. The team provided him with a bottle of water.

Gadawodd J Roberts anodiad ()

Radio 4's File on 4 dealt with the issue of female sex offenders in "Women Who Abuse":

The programme highlighted the case of a female groomer who was jailed in 2018. Details of her crime are available on the UK Database:

Thirty-six police forces responded to FOI requests (5th minute). The responses revealed that between 2015-19:

- there were over 10,400 reports of women sexually abusing children

- Over 5,400 reports concerned children aged 11-17

- around 3,800 reports involved children under 11

(some forces didn't provide information on ages)

A FOI request was also sent to the Disclosure and Barring Service. I have requested a copy of the response received:

"There is evidence more female abusers are being flagged when applying for jobs with children or vulnerable adults than are being reported to the police."

The programme also referred to research by Dr Andrea Darling, who wrote this article on female teachers who abuse pupils: