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Surrey Creep Catchers may be their own worst enemy, says legal expert

Last Updated Apr 21, 2017 at 6:54 am PST

Creep Catchers
Summary

Local vigilante group is warned it could be going about things the wrong way, says lawyer

Two defamation suits filed against Surrey Creep Catchers could cause legal headcaches

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – On the heels of their latest confrontation caught on video claiming they’ve caught a sex predator, one legal expert thinks the Surrey Creep Catchers may actually be doing more harm, than good.

The vigilante group’s most recent video ended with a man being handcuffed by police.

However, with two defamation suits and a complaint into the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC looming, Micheal Vonn with the BC Civil Liberties Association says those rulings could determine the club’s future. “The notion that perhaps we could get more good than harm out of this. We feel that collectively now there has been enough collateral damage, at any rate, to say that the public’s concern is mounting.”

Vonn suggests the group’s way of setting up their suspects is problematic. “Their confrontations with individuals are such that they are actively threatening, or the allegation is they are actively threatening.”

There are also concerns the group is breaching privacy laws with how they entrap the suspects online. “Collecting personal information is already problematic because they’re doing it without consent under kind of fraudulent circumstances.”

The group is part of a loose collection of similar organizations across Canada that try to expose people — it claims — are child sexual predators by posing as minors, arranging to meet their targets, and then sharing footage of the confrontation on the online.

Two weeks ago, Surrey Creep Catchers said its president Ryan Laforge had been arrested after taking down a man they also claimed had been also trying to arrange for sex with a child. Laforge has since said he will be turning himself in to the RCMP.