A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of child abuse after being snared by a vigilante group on Canvey.

The group, called Scales of Justice, live streamed the man after confronting him in Wilmslowe, Canvey on Saturday afternoon.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We arrested a man on suspicion of inciting sexual activity with a child at around 4.20pm on Saturday after information was passed on by a third party.

“The 45-year-old man was arrested in Wilmslowe, Canvey, and he has been released on bail until Wednesday September 11.”

During the video the group allege the man had encouraged an underage girl to perform sexual acts.

When asked why he would talk to a girl in this way, the man can be heard saying it was “a little bit of bants really”.

The group also allege that in one of the messages the man apologies and said that his "sexual feelings got carried away".

During the course of the video, the man confesses that he was talking to "one or two" other children.

He said he had "been a fool" and that his behaviour was "totally disgusting", and that he had been "completely stupid".

The live stream was started at 3.19pm and lasted for 39 minutes. It showed the group confronting the man after he had finished work and them contacting the police and waiting for their arrival.

This is the third time this year that vigilante groups have confronted men on Canvey accusing them of child sex offences.

A man was confronted at his home on February 12, and was later arrested and released on bail.

Later that same month, Malcolm Barnard, 49, was confronted on Dovercliff Road and arrested.

Barnard, formerly of Leigh and now of Crostwick, Norfolk, went on to admit attempting to incite a 15-year-old girl into sexual activity and cause her to watch sexual activity and was handed a six month suspended prison sentence.

Essex Police always discourage vigilante groups from operating in this way using decoy profiles, and instead urge people to contact the police if they have information.

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

However, the groups have continued to operate.