Police and crime commissioner for Warwickshire Ron Ball tells crime fighter: ‘leave it to the professionals’
The police and crime commissioner for Warwickshire says he is “extremely concerned” about the broadcast of a documentary focusing on the work of online paedophile catcher Stinson Hunter.
This week the 32-year-old, who is originally from Warwickshire, revealed that the film would go out on October 1.
Several police forces have spoken out in the past over their concerns that Hunter’s work could disrupt other investigations and lead to vigilantism.
Ron Ball said: “The documentary is the sort of thing that could have superficial appeal.
“People may think, why not? But you have to be aware of the very real concerns about his actions.
“He is already saying that the film is not going to show me in the best light and nor should it.
“If you look at his past he has been incredibly untrustworthy – I certainly don’t want to leave any aspect of law enforcement to him.
“It’s an area that does need more investment which is why we are spending an extra £1million on tackling child sexual exploitation.
“It’s the sort of stuff that has got to be left to the professionals – not people like Stinson Hunter.”
Warwickshire Police have threatened Hunter with legal action over his activities – which see him pretend to be an underage girl online and confront the people who arrange to meet him.
So far no force has gone to the court to stop him though, with Hunter repeatedly saying his activities are not illegal.
The documentary is expected to focus on Hunter’s sometimes fraught relationship with the police and his background.
He has already told the Telegraph he has served time for arson and for assault saying “I was an a***”.
When asked if he will be watching the documentary Mr Ball said: “Yes, I’ll be watching.
“But from the point of view that it may have an impact on the county.
“I need to be aware of any potential pitfalls.”
It’s understood that the force’s chief constable Andy Parker shares Mr Ball’s concerns around Hunter’s activities.
Hunter has said that he plans to continue his work once the documentary has aired – although he does plan to take a short break.
Speaking to the Telegraph last week Hunter said: “I’m not going away. Threats don’t work. I’m strong enough to take whatever people are throwing at me.”
by Sam Dimmer