A video posted by a man identifying with the Lloydminster chapter of Creep Catchers meeting with a man in Bonnyville is making the rounds on social media.
Creep Catchers is a loosely affiliated group of online vigilantes whose members pose as underage girls online in an attempt to arrange meetings with pedophiles. They then record the encounter and post it online as a means of public shaming. The video posted today is the first of this nature to happen in the Lakeland.
While the people making these videos might be well-intentioned, the RCMP would strongly prefer that the work of catching sexual predators be left to them. Staff Sgt. Paul Czerwonka in Edmonton explains that there are few reasons for this. First, police have to work within a number of very strict laws when collecting evidence. While members of the group often share their information with police, they can’t use it as it hasn’t been obtained through legal means. Second, like the predators themselves, the people arranging these meetings don’t know who the other person. is Czerwonka worries that it’s only a matter of time before one of these incidents turns violent. Third, in at least one case a self identified creep catcher was unintentionally interfering in an ongoing police investigation, which caused some headaches for officers.
The video has been shared more than 800 times.