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Alberta

Record number of online child exploitation reports in Alberta. Police warning parents

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From ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Online Child Exploitation On the Rise

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit and the Canadian Center for Child Protection are reminding parents about the need to closely monitor their children’s internet activity in light of a noted increase in cases of online child exploitation, likely in part related to digital dependency during COVID-19 isolation measures.

The ICE unit, which investigates online instances of child exploitation in Alberta, has experienced a record number of investigative referrals during the past month. For the month of March, ICE received 243 reported instances of online child exploitation in Alberta, far exceeding the unit’s two-year average of roughly 110.

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 children being home from school, not only are they spending more time online, but it appears that so are the predators. And they are looking to take advantage of our most vulnerable population: our kids,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT CEO.

“As a parent myself, I have recently noticed some concerning online behavior 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

During the first three months of 2020, ICE made 21 arrests and laid 61 charges in communities big and small across the province. As the result of these arrests, four children were rescued from sexual exploitation, abuse and/or instances of luring.

ICE is anticipating an increase through April; however, the unit wants to buck the upward trend and is partnering with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to warn parents and make internet safety resources available.

“During these unprecedented times and higher than usual online connectivity, it is essential that we work together to educate to the public on the risks and ways to reduce harm to children while online,” says Signy Arnason, Associate Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “Cybertip.ca has seen an increase in reporting involving offenders attempting to lure and sextort children through various chat and live streaming platforms. Now more than ever, parents/guardians must be vigilant in knowing who their children are connecting with online.”

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has information on its site dedicated to supporting families during the COVID-19 crisis, including resources for families and caregivers; schools and educators; and child serving organizations. This information is available at: https://protectchildren.ca/en/resources-research/supporting-you-through-covid-19/

Anyone with information about any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Jordan Peterson interviews Alberta Premier Danielle Smith

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This episode was recorded on June 29th, 2024

Dr. Peterson’s extensive catalog is available now on DailyWire+: https://bit.ly/3KrWbS8

ALL LINKS: https://linktr.ee/drjordanbpeterson

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Alberta

New surveillance teams led by the Alberta Sheriffs working with local police in rural communities

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More boots on the ground to fight rural crime

Rural crime continues to be a top concern among residents and businesses in rural Alberta, which is why Alberta’s government remains committed to addressing it through enhanced surveillance and other crime reduction initiatives. Alberta’s government invested $4.3 million for the Alberta Sheriffs to put more boots on the ground. This investment supported the establishment of two plainclothes teams – one in northern Alberta and one in southern Alberta – to support police in carrying out surveillance on criminal targets in rural areas.

Both teams are now fully staffed and operational, ready to fight crime in rural areas across Alberta. These rural surveillance teams will work to prevent crime, monitor agricultural theft and work in collaboration with local law enforcement to share intelligence and resources to keep Albertans and their property safe and secure.

“Criminals and organized crime are not welcome in Alberta. Full stop. The addition of two new surveillance teams will further support our law enforcement partners in stamping out criminal activity in Alberta’s rural areas. This is about supporting local investigations to address local crime in our smaller communities. Together, both teams will form another key component of Alberta’s efforts to combat crime and ensure Albertans feel safe at home and in their communities, regardless of where they live.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

The Alberta Sheriffs have an existing surveillance unit that is part of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) and focused mainly on serious and organized crime investigations. The new surveillance teams will fill a gap by helping rural RCMP detachments with local investigations.

“Through their specialized knowledge, training and experience, Alberta’s new surveillance teams are providing another important mechanism in the fight against crime in Alberta’s rural communities. Working in close collaboration with the RCMP and other policing agencies, their efforts will play a key role in gathering evidence and information that will help disrupt crime throughout the province.”

Mike Letourneau, superintendent, Alberta Sheriffs

“This announcement by the Alberta government and Minister Ellis is a positive step forward for the residents of Alberta, especially in rural areas. Targeting known criminals is a very effective way to reduce the level of crime taking place and will greatly assist the RCMP who have a vast area to police.”

Lance Colby, mayor, Town of Carstairs

“We are happy to hear about increased resources being allocated to assist our communities. Addressing rural crime is one of the top priorities of the Alberta RCMP, and our partners at the Alberta Sheriffs already play a vital role in keeping Albertans safe. The creation of these new surveillance teams will help augment our ongoing crime reduction strategies in Alberta communities, and we look forward to working with them going forward.”

Trevor Daroux, assistant commissioner, criminal operations officer, Alberta RCMP

The new surveillance teams are part of a suite of measures to expand the role of the Alberta Sheriffs and make Alberta communities safer. Other actions include the expansion of the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit – which uses legal sanctions and court orders to target problem properties where illegal activities are taking place – and the expansion of the RAPID Response initiative with funding for the Sheriff Highway Patrol to train and equip members to assist the RCMP with emergencies and high-priority calls.

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