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Kelowna  

Kelowna RCMP forms unit to combat child porn in face of surge

Child porn police unit forms

The Kelowna RCMP says it has formed a dedicated team to target child pornography in response to a surge in the materials circulating online both locally and across Canada.

Last week, the Kelowna RCMP's new internet child exploitation unit executed a search warrant at a home, arresting one person who was later released without charges pending a forensic search of the devices seized.

The RCMP said in a news release they are seeing an "unprecedented increase" in the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has reported national increases in accessing and possessing child pornography in the past three years. Stats Canada says police-reported child pornography increased 31 per cent from 2019 to 2021.

"As a result of the growing prevalence of these cases the Kelowna RCMP, created a dedicated investigative team of police officers called the internet child exploitation (ICE) unit, to identify, pursue, and disrupt offenders of these crimes," said Cpl. James Jenkins, Kelowna ICE unit.

This is the second dedicated detachment-based unit of its kind within the BC RCMP. Until recently, in Kelowna, the frontline and general investigation officers conducted these investigations.

“This newly-created team of specially trained investigators works with BC ICE to investigate all aspects of these crimes. With the growing demand for online material that sexually exploits children, the Kelowna ICE unit’s goals are to ensure children are not being actively offended against, identify and remove images from the internet, and successfully prosecute those who access, produce, and traffic in this material,” Jenkins added.

If you have information about child sexual exploitation, visit www.cybertip.ca or call Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.



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