DO we really want to go down the road that is highlighted by the story of David Baker?

A man, entrapped by ‘paedophile hunters’ called TRAP, took his own life shortly after he was confronted by these self-appointed vigilantes.

David Baker was probably a public danger. By meeting someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy he was embarking on a dark path that would likely have led to criminal acts and deserved punishment.

But he did not deserve to be publicly exposed as a paedophile before the due process of law could take its course. The self-appointed group put film of the confrontation with Mr Baker online. A couple of days later, after he had been released by police, he was found dead in his home in Wickham.

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We agree with John Apter of the Hampshire Police Federation that the actions of TRAP are a danger in that they undermine the work of the police and the courts.

The paedophile hunters may have been acting for the best of motives but there is a very good reason we have the system that we have. It has evolved over the centuries, to protect the rights of all people, criminals and the law-abiding.

TRAP’s actions don’t just affect people who some might argue deserve no protection. They also threaten everyone else.

The criminal justice system may not be perfect, but it is the best we have.