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Kelowna not spared from unprecedented increase in online exploitation of children: RCMP

National increases in accessing and possessing child pornography reported over past three years
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Last week Kelowna RCMP’s new Internet Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) arrested one person after an investigation into possession of child pornography.

The individual was later released without charge, pending a forensic search of the devices seized.

“An outcome of the pandemic is an unprecedented increase in the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children,” said Const. Mike Della-Paolera, media relations officer in a news release.

“The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has reported national increases in accessing and possessing child pornography in the past three years.”

Kelowna has not been spared and the local RCMP has also seen an increase in this type of criminal activity, added Della-Paolera.

As a result, Kelowna RCMP created the ICE Unit to identify, pursue, and disrupt offenders of these crimes. This is the second dedicated detachment-based unit of its kind within the BC RCMP.

“This newly-created team of specially trained investigators works with BC ICE to investigate all aspects of these crimes,” said Cpl. James Jenkins, Kelowna ICE Unit.

“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.”

If you have information about child sexual exploitation, visit the Cybertip Canada website or call Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

READ MORE: Mother of assaulted Kelowna teen speaks out as accused once again on the lam


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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