A B.C. group that tracks alleged pedophiles online has been registered as a non-profit organization.
The Creep Hunters Canada Society is one of a number of groups active in the province attempting to disrupt online child luring.
But President Brendon Brady says his organization, which recently applied for society status, works differently than vigilante groups like the Surrey Creep Catchers.
Rather than confronting their targets or attempting a citizen’s arrest, Brady said the Creep Hunters submit the evidence they collect to police who then nab the suspects.
“They are more than happy to take our information in the way that we give it to them,” Brady said.
Brady said the move to incorporate as a society came after continued positive interactions with authorities.
“We felt that we had come to a point where we have enough positive feedback from the different police departments and agencies throughout Canada and the U.S.,” Brady said.
“That’s when we decided to go for our non-profit and in our legal description. We put exactly what we do and then it was approved.”
Registering as a society confers certain rights on non-profit organizations such as the ability to open a bank account or bring legal action in its own name.
It does not automatically confer charitable, tax-free status.
LISTEN: Brendan Brady joined CKNW’s Steele & Drex in April to explain his group
Police in the Lower Mainland have maintained that they do not condone vigilante action of any kind.
But Brady contrasts his group’s approach to groups like the Surrey Creep Catchers, who have attracted media attention with recent high-profile stings and legal trouble.
“We don’t publicly shame people, we don’t sell merchandise, although we are going to be selling merchandise because we have a non-profit status now, which is going to allow us to continue doing our events,” he said.
“We do events once a month in different provinces across Canada where we actually have guest speakers.”
Brady says the Creep Hunters are currently working across Canada and in some areas of the U.S.