The Paedophile Hunter is Channel 4’s most important documentary of the year, says factual boss

The film that profiles the work of vigilante Stinson Hunter as he seeks to entrap internet paedophiles shows the scale of the problem of child exploitation and online grooming, says C4 documentaries chief Nick Mirsky

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Channel 4 is hailing The Paedophile Hunter as its most important single documentary of 2014.

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The film – which looks in unstinting detail at the work of a group of men who seek to catch online paedophiles by posing as underage children on social networking sites – will show the shocking scale and the nature of the problem, C4’s head of documentaries Nick Mirsky told RadioTimes.com.

“You see how easy it is for sexual predators to groom children and how very easy that happens on the net,” he said. “It shows it happening, how it happens and how easy it is to happen. It is a brave film, an important film… the most important single documentary of the year for us.”

Made by Bafta-winning Director Dan Reed (Terror in Mumbai, Legally High), the documentary focuses on self-styled ‘undercover journalist’ Stinson Hunter and his team, based in Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

They are shown engaging men in highly explicit online conversations whilst pretending to be children before luring various men into filmed meetings at their safe-house.

The documentary pixelates a large number of its images but shows a number of uncensored captions of the communications between the men and his team. These include various offers for sex from men who believe they are communicating with children.

The film’s director Dan Reed justified the use of the often highly explicit language contained in the communications at the show’s launch on Monday.

“It was important to show as explicitly as possible without being toe-curlingly obscene how sexual and how inappropriate these messages were,” he said.

“At the risk of being slightly shocking it was an important thing to get across. To show that there are people out there who send this kind of filth out there to people they think are children.”

So far the work of Hunter and his team has helped secure ten convictions, even though his methods are opposed by his local police force in Warwickshire which has written a letter to Hunter objecting to his actions. 

The film also reveal how Hunter’s actions have had serious repercussions for both himself and the men he entraps. The documentary shows that one man who was ‘caught’ by Hunter committed suicide after videos were uploaded to social networking sites.

The man’s former partner tells the programme that, despite Stinson’s wish to protect children, there is now a “real child who will grow up without a Dad because of what Stinson has done”.

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The Paedophile Hunter is on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 10pm