|Programme Title:||The Paedophile Hunter|
Watching Channel 4′s ‘The Paedophile Hunter’ starring Stinson Hunter (clever wordplay), I couldn’t help but wonder if it was some sort of prank show.
Reminiscent of MTV’s ‘Punk’d‘, (starring Ashton Kutcher, popular in the 1990s), Stinson Hunter and his ‘crew’ pose as underage girls on the internet, in order to lure potential paedophiles via explicit text messages, to a decoy house.
The tragic tale of Stinson himself – real name, Kieren Parsons – forms an explanatory backdrop to the 32 year-old’s extreme actions. He was put into care at an early age, when he alludes to being sexually abused. He then served a ten year prison sentence for arson, before he became a heroin addict.
But the viewer rallies around him and we forgive his previous transgressions because he catches men who would hurt our children.
The programme is filmed like some sort of epic hybrid between: ‘Road Wars‘ ,because of the first person camera chases, and ‘Punk’d’ because of the, almost, comedic way that they are captured.
The filming of the show works very well with the camera always showing some either a chase, or the texts and phone calls before they are cornered. The use of mobile phones on camera is also very clever, especially when showing the viewer text messages, a box appears at the bottom of the screen showing us the message. The show also touches on the consequences of Hunter’s actions including an interview with the mother of the child of one of the accused paedophiles, who hung himself with a ligature in his car.
Hunter films the men who are caught, and posts their picture on social media sites such as Facebook. It is then shared thousands of times.
The documentary also shows scenes where Hunter is reading letters from the police, warning him to not continue his campaign, as the evidence compiled and uploaded to social media is often useless.
‘The Paedophile Hunter’ is available to watch on 4OD, I highly recommend it.