A Southampton paedophile hunter has posted videos online of him confronting alleged child sexual offenders - the footage has attracted nearly 10 million views in 10 days.

Now, community leaders have warned the hunter and his partner that any information they gather should be handed over to the police rather than posted on the internet.

Using the name TRAP, the Southampton man and another vigilante, who both wish to remain anonymous, pose as underage children online in an attempt to fool suspected paedophiles.

The men inform their suspects, via the internet, that they are underage before arranging to meet.

At the meetings the pair confront and film the alleged paedophiles and post the footage on the internet. One video has been viewed more than four-and-a-half million times.

However, Southampton City Council cabinet member Satvir Kaur has been joined by Cllr Jeremy Moulton, leader of the council's opposition Tory group, in advising those with information to pass it over to the police.

The hunter said: “I don’t do it because I blame the police, they’re doing a fantastic job and are underpaid and understaffed in my opinion. I don’t trust the justice system, that’s why I do this.

“I only started the page on February 11 and it’s blown up since then, I can’t believe it. I’m in regular contact with the police, I speak to them nearly every day. I get some advice from them about how to stay on the right side of the law.

“I film the people I set up when I’ve phoned the police, but they’ve asked me to let them know an hour before I sting my suspects.”

There are currently eight videos listed on the Facebook page, with two of their suspected paedophiles named.

The page has now gathered more than 115,000 likes.

He said: “I’ve not been a clean person crime-wise throughout my life, I accept that, so I want to bring a little bit of good back into the world. I’ve got a daughter who I can’t see and I feel like I can’t protect her, so this is my way of doing it and helping other families.

“I respect the opinion of those who don’t agree with it, but I think it’s the right thing to do. I wait for tips to be messaged through to catch some of them, and I’m currently working on almost 1,000 cases where people have come to me. I need to expand and set up teams across the country.”

Cllr Jeremy Moulton said: “People with information or concerns about potential paedophiles should hand it over to the police and not be posting it on social media.

“I would urge anyone with some sort of information to go through the proper channels for justice regardless of their personal opinion instead of this trial by media. The implications are that somebody could get hurt, particularly if these people turn out to be innocent.”

Cllr Kaur said: “I understand why people would want to help, but information needs to be given to the police to deal with. The other side of what they’re doing is that they could be putting themselves in danger.”

Hampshire police said it would not comment on the methods or activities of ‘paedophile hunters’.

However they referred us to the police's national Child Protection and Abuse Investigation position statements which stated: "While we understand the public’s desire to protect their children from online abuse, we do not encourage action of this kind, which can compromise ongoing investigations into paedophile networks and could spark an abuser to further harm a child if they feel threatened.

"Those who take this approach to exposing paedophiles could be breaking the law and may find themselves at the centre of an investigation or prosecution. Identifying alleged paedophiles is best left to the police who can ensure vulnerable victims are protected."

If any member of the public has concerns about online grooming, they should report them to their local police, to CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) team at ceop.police.uk or to Crimestoppers. If you think a child is at immediate risk of harm, call 999.