Tuesday, August 9, 2022

ALERT: Online child exploitation rising amid COVID-19 isolation

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The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) saying online child exploitation is on the rise.

Parents are being reminded to closely monitor their children’s internet activity.

ALERT says there has been a noted increase in cases of online of child exploitation lately, likely in part related to digital dependency during COVID-19 isolation.

For the month of March, ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit received over 240 reported instances of online child exploitation in Alberta, which far exceeds the two-year average by more than double.

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ALERT CEO, Superintendent Dwayne Lakusta says it appears predators are trying to take advantage of kids being home from school. “As a parent myself, I have recently noticed some concerning online behaviour and have had to be even more diligent in monitoring what apps my child is using and who they are engaging with. All parents need to be vigilant of their kids’ online activities.”

He’s asking all parents to be vigilant of their kids’ online use.

ICE receives the bulk of its referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, which works with internet and social media providers to track and investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.

(With files from ALERT)

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