Villagers warned over ‘vigilante behaviour’ towards paedophile

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CONCERNED parents have been warned not to take the law into their own hands after discovering a paedophile living in Surfleet.

A number of parents have written comments regarding hounding Paul Tumber out of his home or physically harming him on social networking sites such as Facebook after it was revealed in Tuesday’s Lincolnshire Free Press that he was living with his wife Nicola in Seas End Road.

But Insp Chris Davison, of Spalding Police, said such reactions were unhelpful when dealing with paedophiles as it could force them to “go underground”.

He said: “I can’t comment on individuals but sex offenders who are released into the community are rigourously risk-assessed for the likelihood of them re-offending.

“They are also visited regularly and continuously reassessed.

“Vigilante behaviour doesn’t allow us to assist with their rehabilitation and can drive them underground, meaning it is impossible for us to control their behaviour or manage the risk they pose to the community.

“So my message to worried parents would be to not take the law into your own hands because it could end up driving them away from the effective controls that are in place to keep the community safe.”

Tumber (42) was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life after molesting a nine-year-old girl.

He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison by Peterborough Crown Court in 2003 after admitting four indecent assaults.

The judge said his victim had endured “extreme terror” for more than a year and described it as “an extremely bad case”.

It is believed Tumber moved to Surfleet recently after being hounded out of his previous home in Scotland after worried mums began a Facebook campaign.

His whereabouts was revealed in The Sun newspaper which claimed that he was attending toy fairs frequented by children to help his wife on her teddy bear stall.

She runs an internet-based company Buckie Bears.