Gardai have expressed concern over vigilante groups targeting alleged online paedophiles.
It’s after footage emerged on Facebook of a man being confronted in Waterford by a group calling themselves Child Protection Awareness.
The group claims to have used decoy children to chat with the man, who asked some for photographs.
In a statement on Safer Internet Day, the Garda Press Office says such confrontations have the potential for violence and could affect future criminal proceedings.
It’s asking anyone with information on the potential sexual exploitation of children to report it immediately.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll says there’s also a danger such activities could affect a future trial: “People who might otherwise be convicted of offences, may not end up in such a scenario and may go free because of the way in which particular information is handled.”