Data that CBC News has shared reveals the number of child pornography cases in Hamilton, and across Ontario has grown a substantial amount in the last 10 years. The general feeling is that the exploitation is becoming a major problem and affecting more people every day around the world and needs a better look by law enforcement and other agencies.
“The amount of files coming to our attention is on a massive increase,” Staff Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt, Ontario Provincial Police Department, said.
The rise in social media and internet is being blamed because victims are being sought out easier online and not in person.
The rise in technology has also broadened for law enforcement, but they say that it is almost impossible to keep up with an “increasingly interconnected underground culture.”
In 2005 there were no child exploitation cases reported in Hamilton. In the last 10 years the numbers have increased at an alarming rate. Statistics Canada released data that showed 42 reported incidents in 2015.
2,038 unique IP addresses were found to be broadcasting either downloading suspected child porn, or present on a known child pornography website. All statistics were derived within a three-month period from just southern Ontario. Some of the nodes examined were also expandable, revealing that there were multiple IP addresses within that node.
Child pornography cases weren’t the only things to rise, as the total number of sexual assaults towards miners peaked at 50 in 2014. In 2015 the reported number dropped to 28. Canada Statistics also revealed that the number of incidents doesn’t even accurately cover how many children are really becoming victims. This is due to some incidents involving multiple victims.
It’s not just a growing problem for Hamilton, as police across Ontario have reported an increase in child pornography cases from 358 in 2005, to 1,292 in 2015. The number of sexual assaults against children steadily grew from 19 in 2005, to 894 in 2015.
“Absolutely there is a rise in activity. The access is there. It’s just so easy. We’re seeing cases where both parents are advertising their own children on Craigslist,” Karyn Kennedy, the President and CEO of Boost Child and Youth Advocacy said.
Last month a Niagara region woman was charged with a total of 36 offences, when she sexually assaulted both of her children with a weapon, let others sexually assault them, as well as recording incidents to produce child pornography. Reports said that one of the children was only four years old.
In July police said that a Hamilton resident was facing child pornography charges after a multi-jurisdictional investigation concluded that there was evidence that he had images of child porn traced to his IP address, relating dozens this year.