RCMP officer linked to Surrey Creep Catchers sting released following bail hearing
UPDATE: RCMP say the suspect has been released following a judicial bail hearing and they will continue to liaise with Crown Counsel regarding charges. Conditions on his bail include no use of the internet, no contact with children under 16 and not being in facilities where children under 16 would be expected to gather. Crown Counsel received the RCMP report on Monday and will decide if criminal charges will be laid. Mounties say the suspect remains suspended from duty. He is scheduled to appear in on Oct. 19.
BC RCMP confirm a member of the force targeted in a Surrey Creep Catchers ‘sting’ was arrested Thursday.
The video shot by the controversial group allegedly showed an RCMP officer meeting an underage girl and streamed the encounter live on Facebook Wednesday night.
Acting Cmdr. Brenda Butterworth-Carr said the RCMP received a call before 10 p.m. with regards to the incident after it started to play out on social media. Police attended the incident, which happened at a mall on King George Highway, and immediately started an investigation.
WATCH: Creep Catchers catch a cop
The investigation includes allegations of child luring and sexual exploitation involving an RCMP officer. Butterworth-Carr said within a few hours they were able to identify and locate the suspect officer.
BC RCMP has initiated an internal Code of Conduct investigation, which is being led by the Surrey RCMP Professional Standards unit, the Integrated Child Exploitation Unit and the RCMP Major Crimes Unit.
Since the incident, investigators have identified witnesses, conducted interviews and gathered evidence. As the investigation progressed, Butterworth-Carr said the suspect officer was arrested and taken into custody, where he remains today.
Charges are pending and the officer has been removed from duty and suspended. The suspect officer cannot be named since charges have not been approved by Crown Counsel.
Butterworth-Carr made it clear that “if these allegations are substantiated, we will be taking immediate steps to separate ourselves from this individual. These allegations are egregious and not in keeping with what we expect of our employees. There is no room in the RCMP for this kind of behavior or individual.”
In the course of the ‘sting’ operation the suspect officer was misidentified as another officer on social media. Butterworth-Carr said, “this misinformation and unfair assumptions have been extremely stressful for [the officer] and his family and are incredibly inappropriate.”
“This is a prime example of why we asked for an investigation due process and formal charges to be considered and approved by Crown Counsel before a name is disseminated, especially on social media. These are serious allegations and subject to judicial process and it should not be about shaming.”
Creep Catchers is a controversial network of people who bait people to arrange to meet juveniles and confront them in person, all with the cameras rolling.
The investigation is ongoing and active.
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