David Baker killed himself after being confronted

Police have been told to crack down on paedophile-hunting vigilantes after the number of groups in the nation targeting online child abusers rose to more than 75.

Internal guidance for detectives, obtained by The Times, tells them to investigate any potential offences by the hunters as well as those they accuse of trying to groom children.

This could include harassment, privacy offences or violence offences if there are clashes when the suspect is confronted. The guidance, handed out last year, also warns officers that vigilante groups have “little or no consideration” for the safeguarding requirements of victims of the paedophiles they have outed.

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