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article imageB.C. Mountie arrested on child luring, sex exploitation charges

By Arthur Weinreb     Sep 10, 2016 in Crime
Surrey - A Surrey, B.C. RCMP officer has been arrested after he was caught in a sting by the group Creep Catchers. It is alleged the Mountie was on his way to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
As formal charges have not yet been brought, the officer's name has not been released. But he was arrested Thursday and, pending Crown counsel's approval, will be charged with child luring and sexual exploitation.
The announcement of the arrest was made at a press conference yesterday. Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Buttherworth-Carr, said the alleged incident occurred on Wednesday. The sting was conducted by the Surrey branch of the group Creep Catchers who livestreamed the Mountie arriving at a pre-arranged destination. It is alleged the officer went to meet who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. The two had agreed online to meet for sex. The man managed to escape apprehension by members of Creep Catchers but was arrested the next day.
Butterworth-Carr said if the allegations are found to be correct, the RCMP will take steps to have the officer fired and added there is no room in the RCMP for this kind of behaviour. Butterworth-Carr also stressed the Mountie who was arrested is not Constable Don Johnson. Johnson's name surfaced in several social media posts as being the suspected predator who was apprehended.
Creep Catchers groups in various locations have sprung up mainly in the past year. The Toronto Sun reports the Surrey group was only formed in July and this was their first sting. Members of the group create online profiles of minors and if they find someone wanting to meet for sex, several of the members of the group show up and livestream the suspected pedophile arriving at the predetermined location.
While the RCMP acknowledged they may not have been able to arrest the officer without the help of Creep Catchers, they are opposed to the vigilante group. Ins. Tyler Svendson, who also spoke at the press conference, said although the RCMP and Creep Catchers have the same goal of preventing the sexual abuse of children, the groups' objectives are public shaming. Police are only interested in arresting and prosecuting suspects with a view of obtaining convictions.
Svendson also said vigilante groups complicate matters for police. Evidence obtained by these groups and then turned over to police has to be further analyzed and this lengthens the investigation. And only police how the legal authority to do certain things such as obtaining search warrants.
The officer has been suspended and, in addition to the criminal proceedings, the RCMP will be conducting an internal investigation. He remains in custody.
More about Rcmp, Child luring, Sexual exploitation, creep catchers, undercover stings
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