THUNDER BAY – Creep Catchers have arrived in Thunder Bay. The group with chapters across Canada go online, pretending to be young people. Creep Catchers take on alleged “Creeps” posing as young girls, and boys on social media chat forums and set up meetings with the alleged “Creeps” and video the encounter.
The video is then posted to Youtube, and the Creep Catchers Website.
Creep Catchers Thunder Bay
There are 15 Creep Catcher chapters across Canada. So far the only Ontario Chapter is here in Thunder Bay. The group claims that they have captured, on video, six individuals and their videos are posted on their website.
The effort is new in Canada, and appears to be based on the American television show that takes a similar approach to catching alleged child abusers. One of the differences from the television show is that while the American show has law enforcement officers involved, Creep Catchers does not.
The process is creating controversy. Creep Catchers started in Calgary. There are chapters across the province. Medicine Hat Police recently took two of the members in for questioning.
No charges were laid, but Medicine Hat Police issued a statement following that encounter:
In Lethbridge Alberta, Police issued a media statement on the efforts of the group. “Vigilante justice undermines the investigative process and could interfere with and derail police investigations. The types of so-called undercover operations attempted by untrained members of public are reckless, dangerous and put both parties in a position of significant risk and harm. They also create complications for the courts and ultimately subvert true justice.
“LPS does not work in connection with any online vigilante groups and strongly condemns their actions. Members of the public who truly want to help combat child luring and exploitation and see offenders held to account, are encouraged to report tips and information to police or cybertip.ca.”
Thunder Bay Police are aware of the local chapter of creep catchers, but have not made public comment.