‘Creep catching’ could be legally destructive: justice expert
SASKATOON – For a second time, a Saskatoon man has publicly dished out details on his confrontation with an alleged sexual predator, as thousands of comments and shares continue to pour in on his Facebook posts.
“You’re not from outside of Battleford coming here to pick up a little girl right now?” he asks in his latest video.
The man, who goes by Craig Charles on Facebook, claims to confront men he’s been talking to online, pretending to be young girls.
Police not only discourage this version of vigilante justice, they say it’s highly dangerous.
“We’re pretty concerned. Someone is choosing to create situations in which they are enacting a sting, really,” said Alyson Edwards, public affairs director at the Saskatoon Police Service.
“You’re putting yourself in a situation where you don’t know how the other person is going to react.”
But ‘creep catching’ may be trending, as more incidents have been reported across the country. On his Facebook page, Charles also shared a video of another man partaking in something similar Calgary.
Stephen Wormith, director of justice studies at the University of Saskatchewan, says there are many reasons why people take part in this kind of citizen justice, including feeling a sense of dissatisfaction with the legal system and an eagerness to help.
“It’s an emotional response. When emotions start taking over the justice system, then justice is in jeopardy,” he said.
Wormith warns these actions could drive alleged predators underground and may increase their motivation to continue to engage in this behaviour, with no legal implications.
Edwards adds, when people take matters into their own hands, the footage may not even hold up in court. It could, in fact, damage an investigation that could otherwise have convicted someone.
One of the men confronted in Craig’s video has filed an official complaint with the police service, claiming he’s been the victim of hate crimes.
© 2016 Shaw Media