Internet Child Exploitation Unit - ICE Unit

graphics2Goals and Objectives

Our goal is to identify, actively investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any and all persons in our jurisdiction involved in the online victimization of children.

We are also active in the identification and rescue of children who have been victimized, and the crimes against them photographed and/or video taped by the offender(s) and then placed online for the world to see.

Role and Function

The Internet Child Exploitation unit actively investigates the online victimization of children which may occur via the possession, distribution and/or accessing of child pornography or by the luring of children for a sexual purpose via the internet.

Our unit is also active in assisting other agencies with multi-jurisdictional investigations. These types of offences often have no jurisdictional boundaries due to the use of the internet to perpetuate these types of offences.

A lot of our information comes from other agencies, international projects and civilian complaints and involve a reactive response; however, the unit hopes to become increasingly more proactive where suspects and victims are identified by online investigations.

Policing of Cyberspace is a relatively new area. The complex design of the internet allows it to be a reliable form of communication. Unfortunately it also provides an excellent forum, for the mass replication and distribution of illegal content, such as Child Pornography.

Definitions;

Child Pornography -

A photograph, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means, that shows a person who is, or is depicted as being, under the age of eighteen years and is engaged in, or is depicted as being engaged in an explicit sexual activity, or the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction , for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of eighteen years; or any written material or visual representation that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years.

Luring -

Every person commits an offence who by means of a computer system communicates with;

  1. a person who is, or who the accused believes is, under the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of facilitating the commission of offences such as sexual exploitation, incest, corrupting morals, procuring, and/or sexual assault
  2. a person who is, or who the accused believes is, under the age of sixteen years, for the purpose of facilitating the commission of the offence of abduction
  3. a person who is, or who the accused believes is, under the age of fourteen years, for the purpose of facilitating the commission of offences such as sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, bestiality, indecent act, and/or abduction.

Individuals enjoy relative obscurity to easily collect thousands of pornographic images of children, via the internet, without fear of identification and prosecution. This anonymity has created an increase in the numbers of offenders. With the ongoing support and assistance of the citizens of the Region of Peel, we will continue to endeavour to stop the Online Exploitation of Children.

The Internet Child Exploitation Unit (905) 453-3311 ext. 3490

Current Initiatives

The Internet Exploitation unit has just completed its part in the third international project involving individuals who purchased child pornography online. This project was dubbed "Falcon". Peel Regional Police received information on nine Peel suspects from an international list of 75,000 names.

We are currently working on expanding our online investigative team and looking forward to a more proactive approach to the investigation of online offences against children.

Community Resources

Cybertips.ca is a valuable resource for citizens concerned with websites, emails and/or any other related data they feel needs attention. It is also an excellent educational resource. This agency has an easy to use online complaint form which is evaluated by investigators and funnelled to the appropriate agencies for investigation or simply held for future information purposes. Cybertips.ca has been very effective in assisting Canadian enforcement agencies in all types of investigations as well as having great success in getting offensive websites removed from the internet even when there content is not illegal.

Tips on how to deal with Offensive Email (Spam or regular);

If you receive an email (spam or regular) of which you do not recognize the sender DO NOT OPEN IT. If the subject is such that you are concerned it may contain child pornography (see definition) then contact the ICE UNIT at (905) 453-3311 ext. 3490. Do not delete, forward, reply to, alter or move the email in any way. Leave it alone until you speak to an investigator. Any activity involving the email could alter the header information of the sender which is necessary for identification. Often with spam the site the sender wants you to access is transient (only active for a couple days) so contacting us as soon as possible is important).