London Child Luring Reports Mirror National Increase

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The London Police Service says a national increase in the number of child luring calls received by police mirrors trends occurring in this city.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released information on the number of police-reported cases of a variety of crimes in 2013. The statistics show a rise in reports of child pornography and sexual violations against children.

From 2012 to 2013, the rate of calls received from police on alleged sexual violations against children increased by 6%. Included in the “sexual violations against children” category are luring by computer, sexual exploitation, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and making sexually explicit material available to children.

The London Police Service says it’s seeing the biggest increase in calls connected to luring a child over the Internet.

Detective Inspector Kevin Heslop, with the London police investigations branch, says the number of child luring investigations they took on quadrupled from 2009 to 2013.

Statistic Canada reports the rate of child luring reports across the country were up 30% in 2013, the biggest jump of the five sexual violations against children included in the category.

Heslop says, in London, he attributes the jump to a two-year-old awareness campaign in elementary and high schools that encourages children to tell their parents about Internet luring incidents. He says the majority of calls to police about luring come from concerned parents.

Heslop says, that being said, there may well be more cases of child luring over the Internet that do not get reported to police.

The London Police Service has released a list of the number of luring investigations it held since 2009:

  • 2009 – 5 luring investigations
  • 2010 – 11 luring investigations
  • 2011 – 13 luring investigations
  • 2012 (LPS recieved a grant from Provincial Strategy to protect children from abuse and exploitation on the Internet) – 22 luring investigations
  • 2103 – 18 luring investigations
  • 2014 (year-to-date) – 16 luring investigations

The grant received in 2012 from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services allowed the service to assigned two additional officers to cyber crime investigations. One is an investigator, the other is a forensic computer analysis examiner.

Statistics Canada also reported a 163% increase in the rate of police-reported child pornography cases in 2013, but Heslop says that jump doesn’t translate to numbers seen in London, which have held steady since at least 2007.