British Columbia

RCMP officer charged with child luring, breach of trust

In an unusual step, RCMP — not the Crown — brought charges against one of their own officers in Surrey, B.C.

Charges come after 'Creep Catchers' sting allegedly snared an off-duty officer earlier this month

Charges have been laid against an RCMP officer in Surrey B.C. (CBC)

Surrey, B.C., RCMP have charged one of their own officers with child luring and breach of trust by a public officer.

The charges were laid over the weekend against Const. Dario Devic, but only came to light Friday.

The Crown usually lays criminal charges in B.C., and a spokesperson for the Criminal Justice Branch said the Crown is still reviewing the file before deciding whether to proceed with the charges.

A spokesperson for the Surrey RCMP was unable to explain why police decided they would lay the charges themselves.

A bail hearing also took place, and Devic has been released on the condition that he avoid contact with children under 16 or going anywhere children of that age gather. The court has also placed restrictions on his internet use.

The lawyer for a British Columbia RCMP officer who is charged with luring after a sting by the vigilante group says his client will have his say in court.

"Mr. Devic is very eager to have this matter dealt with before the court and he intends to vigorously defend himself.  It is particularly concerning that the "Surrey Creep Catchers" have already mistakenly identified a police officer in this matter.  No further comment on this case will be made by our office while we are before the courts," said Lawyer Rishi Gill in a written statement to CBC.

Charges follow Creep Catcher sting

The charges come one week after RCMP in Surrey were forced to address an incident in which a vigilante pedophile hunting group targeted what the group said was an RCMP officer.

The group claimed to have caught a man after luring him online with a woman posing as a 14-year-old.

Acting Cmdr. Brenda Butterworth-Carr told reporters that police tracked down a suspect soon after and arrested him.

The man was an RCMP officer who was suspended from duties. He was not named at that time.

"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 behaviour or individual," said Butterworth-Carr.

Devic is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 19.