Teen member of 'Creep Catcher' targets Saint John predators
Cameron Allan says he confronted a man on camera, but police are now investigating after complaint about video
A teenager in Saint John is taking the law into his own hands by targeting alleged online predators.
Cameron Allan, an 18-year-old high school student, is a member of Creep Catcher Canada, a vigilante group that tracks down and posts videos of people alleged to be criminals.
"I could probably have somebody willing to meet up ... and have sexual interactions, probably within a half hour," said Allan on Monday.
The teenager posted his first video on Friday.
I want to put the message out that that's not OK. And I want to eventually slow it down and stop it in southern New Brunswick.- Cameron Allan
He said he posed as an underage girl on the dating website Plenty of Fish, met up with an older man and then posted the confrontation online.
"I want to put the message out that that's not OK. And I want to eventually slow it down and stop it in southern New Brunswick."
Creep Catcher Canada has members in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Allan said he is starting the New Brunswick chapter.
Saint John police say vigilante behaviour is dangerous and strongly caution against it.
A complaint was lodged about Allan's video over the weekend and the major crimes unit is investigating, according to Sgt. Lori Magee.
Let police do their job.- Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh
"Our concern is obviously for public safety," said Magee.
"We would encourage anyone with any information to contact police rather than take matters into their own hands."
New Brunswick RCMP said the situation could escalate quickly, endangering anybody who chooses to confront alleged criminals.
"Let the police do their job," said Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.
Accuser could become accused
Becoming a vigilante could turn the accuser into the accused, according to Carley Parish, a criminal defence lawyer and partner at Lutz Longstaff Parish.
"I would expect [in] this group people could be charged for sure," Parish said.
Parish represented the so-called "Grand Manan Five," arguably the most well-known case of apparent vigilante action in New Brunswick.
A jury found four of the five men guilty on various weapons and arson charges after an alleged drug dealer's home was set on fire.
Parish said any videos Creep Catcher Canada members capture would likely not be used in court.
"Anything that they collect, or any evidence, I can't see that as being admissible," said Parish.
"They haven't followed the rules."