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ALERT talks image sharing and luring on International Safer Internet Day

ALERT talks image sharing and luring on International Safer Internet Day

ALERT talks image sharing and luring on International Safer Internet Day

February 5, 2013

 

Edmonton…ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) units are using International Safer Internet Day as an opportunity to remind the public to keep online safety top of mind throughout the year.

ICE combines the efforts of police members from the RCMP, Edmonton Police Service, Calgary Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and Lethbridge Regional Police Service who work together to investigate the sexual exploitation of children through the Internet and reduce harm through public education and prevention programs.

In 2012, ICE investigated over 440 new cases of Internet-related child exploitation and laid over 300 charges against 72 people province-wide. Investigators are seeing a higher volume of files involving image sharing via the Internet, as well as online luring.

“The ways in which kids access the Internet and their online activity continue to evolve,” explained Sgt. Mike Lokken of ALERT’s northern ICE unit. “As a result, teaching online safety is even more critical to prevent harm against children.”

Here a few tips to help reduce the risk of online luring.

  • Do not give out personal information to strangers online.
  • Keep in mind that people are not always who they say they are online.
  • If someone you don’t know approaches you or makes you uncomfortable online, tell your parents.
  • Predators use threats to gain control over children. Tell someone if you are being threatened, and know that complying with their demands is unlikely to prevent a predator from making further threats.
  • Never agree to meet someone in person that you have met online without first discussing it with your parents.

When it comes to sharing images through text messaging, email or social media, investigators advise youth against it. Some reminders regarding image sharing are as follows:

  • Once you send a picture online, you have no control over it. You cannot control the recipient’s actions once he or she receives your photo.
  • Pictures are never completely removed from the Internet.
  • Creating, possessing and distributing sexually explicit images of someone under the age of 18 are illegal. Engaging in these activities can result in criminal charges.

“Issues related to ‘sexting’ are something we are seeing more frequently, with young people not understanding the consequences of sending, receiving or forwarding nude or explicit images,” said S/Sgt. Greg Johnson of ALERT’s southern ICE unit. “When you share a nude or explicit image of someone under the age of 18, you are sexually exploiting that person and can be charged with child pornography offences. Our intent here is not to scare kids, but to make them think twice before they share these types of images.”

For more tips, parents and kids can visit the ALERT website where they will find information and links to various resources on how to better ensure their safety while online. The public can submit tips through www.cybertip.ca, a national website for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children.

ICE is an ALERT team established and funded by the Government of Alberta to bring together the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources to tackle serious and organized crime. Over 400 municipal police, RCMP and sheriffs work for ALERT.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
S/Sgt. Greg Johnson
Southern Internet Child Exploitation Unit
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
403-428-4901

Sgt. Mike Lokken
Northern Internet Child Exploitation Unit
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3362

Jill Baird
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3028

Since 2022, CISA has been guided by four pillars that focus the effort to promote an integrated, intelligence-led approach to combating organized crime; these are:

  • Building Relationships with Stakeholders;
  • Promote Intel Sharing Across the Province;
  • Being Proactive and Identify Emerging Trends; and
  • Investing in Our People Through Training and Development

Protecting Kids Online | Internet Child Exploitation

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FILE INTAKES

680

872

1,149

1,114

3,815

2,994

2,764

SUSPECTS CHARGED

22

16

34

37

109

81

125

CHARGES LAID

87

45

123

160

415

351

413

CHILDREN RESCUED

26

78

56

43

203

46

100

EXHIBITS SEIZED

335

368

545

476

1,724

1,243

1,845

TOTAL PHOTOS/VIDEOS

262,400

511,133

1,374,310

606,254

2,754,097

2,551,921

13,260,819

Stopping Human Trafficking | HUMAN TRAFFICKING & COUNTER EXPLOITATION

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

13

10

7

4

34

30

76

CHARGES LAID

79

46

87

19

231

96

157

VICTIM INTERVENTIONS

30

29

17

37

113

28

22

Intelligence & Expertise | CISA / Training

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

409

296

327

442

1,474

1,560

1,318

TRAINING COURSES

5

3

8

11

27

36

25

CANDIDATES TRAINED

321

56

135

350

862

933

638

Disrupt & Dismantle Organized Crime | Combined Special Forces Enforcement

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

40

27

42

32

141

197

168

CHARGES LAID

176

156

237

231

800

1,088

820

FIREARMS SEIZED

105

53

26

48

232

102

126

EST. VALUE OF DRUGS SEIZED

$906,814

$553,851

$2,725,161

$1,148,337

$5,334,163

$10,898,269

$334,093,020

PROCEEDS OF CRIME SEIZED

$218,133

$52,970

$130,996

$230,195

$632,294

$1,432,847

$21,740,617

ANNUAL Regional ResultS

ARRESTS

CHARGES

FIREARMS

DRUGS

PROCEEDS

CALGARY

24

110

14

$937,422

$65,881

EDMONTON

17

131

45

$592,839

$272,446

FORT MCMURRAY

8

78

4

$352,942

$144,301

GRANDE PRAIRIE

7

17

13

$192,145

$31,855

LETHBRIDGE

7

29

44

$349,773

$51,245

LLOYDMINSTER

24

93

41

$164,134

$12,504

MEDICINE HAT

37

179

13

$293,108

$7,861

RED DEER

17

163

58

$2,451,800

$46,201

TOTALS

141

800

232

$5,334,163

$632,294

Organized Property Crimes | Auto Crimes

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

1

1

2

1

10

CHARGES LAID

11

47

STOLEN VEHICLES

23

15

1

6

45

245

118

RECOVERED ASSETS

$1,432,000

$941,025

$108,000

$260,000

$2,741025

$8,420,500

$3,919,500

Firearms investigations | Firearms lab & Gang suPpression teams

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FIREARMS EXAMINATIONS

349

351

243

235

1,178

EXHIBIT EXAMINATIONS

1,316

1,409

891

1,099

4,715

SERIAL NUMBER RESTORATIONS

31

34

19

24

108

IBIS SUBMISSIONS

343

421

1,334

304

2,402

GUN SEIZURES

1

14

15

SUSPECTS CHARGED

4

22

26

CHARGES LAID

41

144

185

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (Cybertip.ca).

Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page