October Child Exploitation Numbers Shared by 27 Police Services

Posted On Wednesday November 30, 2022

Numbers continue to increase as 121 children identified, 107 people charged

Region of Peel -Hundreds of charges have been laid across Ontario, a snapshot of the work done by investigators and analysts that make up the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet (Provincial Strategy).

The results of the investigations completed in October, named Project MAVERICK, were announced in a video release showcasing members of the Provincial Strategy. During the month, the 27 policing partners conducted 255 investigations, completed 168 search warrants and seized 1,032 devices. In total, 428 charges were laid against 107 people. During the investigations, 61 victims were identified and referred to appropriate community-based resources for assistance, while an additional 60 children were safeguarded. There are 175 ongoing investigations where additional charges may be laid.

The Provincial Strategy includes two ministries (Attorney General and Solicitor General) and 27 participating police agencies: Barrie, Belleville, Brantford, Chatham-Kent, Cornwall, Durham, Greater Sudbury, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Niagara, North Bay, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ottawa, Peel, Peterborough, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Waterloo, Windsor, Woodstock and York.

Additional partners that participated in these investigations included OPP Digital Forensics, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security. The BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre, the Children’s Aid Society and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection provided victims’ support and education.

Since the Provincial Strategy began in 2006, it has completed 65,564 investigations and laid 24,608 charges against 6,540 people. A total of 3,470 victims have been identified worldwide.

The video outlining the investigation is available on Twitter (@OPP_News), Facebook (@ontarioprovincialpolice)j or click here A full list of charges for Project MAVERICK is included in the Addendum of Charged Persons that can be found on opp.ca/news/#/mediakit.

The investigations continue and anyone with information on these or any child exploitation investigations are asked to contact their local police. Report any instances of online child abuse to police or cybertip.ca. If a child is being harmed, call 9-1-1.

 QUOTES

“Our Service is committed to keeping our youth safe. I’m thankful for the outstanding work of our members and our partner services in combatting child Internet exploitation. Peel Regional Police will continue to seek opportunities to collaborate with our partners across Ontario and beyond, to ensure that the people involved in these types of crimes are identified and held accountable.”

- Peel Regional Police Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich, Investigative and Emergency Services Comman 

“Our primary goal in the Peel ICE Unit and in the Provincial Strategy is not just to find those who consume child pornography.  Our main goal is to find and rescue child victims whose abuse so often goes undetected.  Those who consume child pornography and/or seek out inappropriate online interactions with children are dangerous to children, full stop.  Child pornography consumption should never be confused as something that is a passive act, all the children in the images are real victims and all consumers of the material are indifferent to their suffering and abuse.  Citizens should use the results of Project Maverick to remind themselves that online child sexual abuse is pervasive problem that impacts everyone, and to ensure they take steps to keep their children safe both when they are online or when interacting with others in person.”

- Peel Regional Police Detective Andrew Ullock, Internet Child and Exploitation Unit

“These numbers are shocking, but they provide hope by showing the lengths our teams are willing to go to protect children. I would like to express gratitude for the hard work of the Provincial Strategy members, and our partners, in keeping children in this province safe and holding those who want to harm them accountable.”

- OPP Chief Superintendent Kari Dart, OPP Investigation and Support Bureau

For more information, please visit our website.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators in the 11 Division Auto Theft Unit by calling 905-453-2121, ext. 1152. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visiting PeelCrimeStoppers.ca.

For media inquiries, please contact the on-duty Media Relations Officer at 905-453-2121, ext. 4027.

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