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Law enforcement warns of rising child exploitation reports in Alberta

Last Updated Apr 21, 2020 at 3:12 pm MDT

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — A startling spike in online child exploitation investigations has police warning parents to pay attention to what their kids are doing during the pandemic.

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit says they received 243 reports of online exploitation in March, more than double what they normally see in a month.

Supt. Wayne Lauksta says with kids being home from school, not only are they spending more time online, but it appears the predators are as well.

The unit says they made 21 arrests in the first three months of this year with 61 charges were laid, and as a result, four children were rescued from sexual exploitation, abuse, or instances of luring.

ICE is anticipating an increase in case numbers in April, but put out the warning in efforts to try and stop the trend.