EastEnders has defended its much discussed paedophile hunter story, dismissing claims that they are seeking to glamourise the vigilante-esque actions of Stuart Highway and promising that he is about to be confronted with huge and negative consequences for what he has been doing.
Viewers have seen Stuart trying to get Mick Carter and Halfway to help him on his missions to snare predators after speaking to them online, having posed as an underage girl. But things have started to go wrong as Mick now suspects that the latest sting is actually an innocent man. But despite this, Stuart has uploaded the video and details of the man, branding him a sex offender – and this will backfire massively.
A spokesperson for the show discussed the storyline, saying: At no point is EastEnders encouraging or glamourising predator hunting. In fact, viewers will see the extremely negative consequences of Stuarts actions this week.
Their response comes after the National Police Chiefs Council released a statement to The Sun warning of the danger of amateur paedophile hunting investigations.
It said: We understand the desire to protect children but any member of the public who has information about child sexual abuse, online or otherwise, should get in contact with the police so we can investigate and bring people to justice.
Online child abuse activists are taking risks they dont understand and can undermine police investigations. Most importantly, unlike our officers, they have no way of safeguarding child victims.
The storyline continues later this week as Stuart is forced to confront his actions. But can he reverse the damage he has caused?