Alabama task force sees increase in crimes against children - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabama task force sees increase in crimes against children

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Special Victims Unit has seen a dramatic increase in the number of crimes against children involving technology.

In 2016, the SVU received more than 1200 reports of child sexual exploitation in the state. Officers arrested 34 people, examined more than 600 pieces of digital evidence, and rescued more than 170 children from abusive situations. They investigate child pornography, cyberbulling, physical and sexual abuse, and any crime against a child using technology. 

Lt. Brooke Walker, who heads the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, says parents are often blind to the fact that their children are being targeted.  

"I've been doing this 11 years and I've never walked in to a house where the parent said, 'I knew you were coming.' It's a silent entry to children," said Walker.

To protect their children, parents can keep the computer in a high-traffic area of their home and establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long. Parents should also remember that Internet technology can be mobile and make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices and laptops.

Parents should also know who is connecting with their children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming and using webcams. A continuous dialogue with children about online safety is also important.

Find more safety tips at this link

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