A MAN is in custody on suspicion of sending indecent messages to children after vigilante paedophile hunters confronted him at his home.

The group, who call themselves the Soloceptors, met a 59-year-old man, who lives on Canvey, at his home on Monday evening.

A man came out of his home wearing his pyjamas to speak to the paedophile hunters.

They streamed the confrontation live on social media site Facebook, which has now had more than 41,000 views.

In the conversation, the paedophile hunters accuse a man of sending indecent images to people he believed to be 13-year-old children.

The person filming the encounter states the children were actually adult decoys and demanded answers from a man as to why he had sent the messages.

The video lasted 18 minutes and showed a brief confrontation before a suspect went back into his home to wait for the police to arrive.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A 59-year-old man from Canvey has been arrested on suspicion of sexual communications with a child.

“We were called just after 12.05am on Tuesday, February 12. He remains in custody.”

In 2017, figures obtained by the BBC showed an increase in the number of cases where evidence gathered by paedophile hunters is being used.

However, Essex Police consistently discourage such groups from operating in this way and instead urge people to contact the police if they have information.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We strongly deter anyone from vigilante behaviour at any level.

“They could be acting upon inaccurate information and putting innocent people at serious risk.

“Anyone who has a genuine concern about potential criminal activity should always contact us so that we can investigate and not take the law into their own hands.”

The NSPCC has also spoken out against self-styled vigilantes tracking down suspected sex offenders and says this must be done by the proper authorities but the groups continue.