It appears the Creep Catcher movement has made its way to Grande Prairie. The trend involves vigilantes posing as young girls online with the goal of confronting, filming, and accusing alleged pedophiles on social media. Mike Tucker with Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams says that while the group may have good intentions, what they’re doing may undermine ongoing cases.
“This could completely derail an investigation. What is being portrayed in a video may be purposeful for obtaining likes or a number of views; it really serves no purpose for the police.”
Tucker adds they have a team dedicated to investigating online child luring and voyeurism. Last year alone, the arrest of 67 people led to 224 charges. Tucker says those wouldn’t have been possible without training and extensive work.
“That type of stuff all requires forensic analysis to determine whether or not these conversations are coming from a certain individual. That’s disregarded in a lot of these cases, but we really have to invest a lot of time in building that airtight case.”
So far, a website dedicated to the Creep Catchers group has two postings based out of the Swan City that have reportedly happened in just the past two weeks. If citizens feel they have information about a potential child predator, they’re encouraged to submit it to cybertips.ca and not pursue vigilante justice.