In today’s technological world the Internet is a lifeline for most and while it has enhanced the lives of many, it also has made innocent people (especially children) easy targets for predators. The Internet has become a place where predators can reach innocent children, while reducing many of the risks of getting caught if they were targeting them in person. Every year children are starting to use the Internet and computers at a younger and younger age. Because children are oftentimes trusting, naive, curious, and eager for attention and affection predators will target them online in order to take advantage of them. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, less than 5% of parents are aware of online sexual exploitation and even fewer think their child is at risk. It is important for parents, law enforcement and society as a whole to know of the dangers children face on the Internet and how to reduce the risks of being victimized.
The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program was created to help local, state and federal law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use the Internet and other online communication systems to sexually exploit children. There are 61 regional ICAC Task Force agencies nationwide which are funded by the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). ICAC Task Forces were developed in response to an increasing number of children and teens using the Internet, the abundance of child pornography and the heightened online activity by predators seeking unsupervised contact with underage children. San Diego ICAC is made up of various local and federal investigative and prosecuting agencies that all work together to keep children safe and hold offenders accountable.
San Diego ICAC addresses the problem of online predators by using a two-pronged system. The first way in which the problem is addressed includes identifying, arresting and prosecuting offenders. The second way in which San Diego ICAC approaches the problem is by educating the public about potential risks and safety measures available for families.
If you have questions about Internet Crimes Against Children, prevention or suspicions, please contact the SDICAC Task Force at 858-715-7100.
To report an online exploitation type crime against an unknown child contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
To report a crime against your child, involving the internet or other electronical means, please contact your local law enforcement agency.