The Internet is Our Crime Scene

We are proud to release this awareness video and blog from the perspective of law enforcement officers who protect children against harmful online predators. No one organization can tackle this problem, but by sharing what they’ve learned and working together – we can ALL make a difference.

These days, the risks that children face are different than the ones we had growing up. If our parents worried, it was about us meeting a stranger on the street.  But now, kids have the whole world in their pocket; every smartphone is a private chatline, a television, and a camera. And the way these new technologies have been abused is, it’s worse than anything I’ve seen in my career.

I’ve been in law enforcement for thirty years, and for the last decade have been working to stop child sexual abuse. The internet is my crime scene. What I’ve seen is –  horrifying. The evidence in these cases — prosecutors, judges don’t want to look at it. So imagine how devastating it can be for your family and your children.

We’re up against a global network, they don’t care about borders.
They’re travelling internationally to abuse children. Or directing the live abuse of children and streaming it, for just a few dollars. Some are assaulting children who trust them and then spreading images over the dark web.

Or grooming a child remotely, pretending to be a friend or classmate, but living across the world.   And once this material is made, it’s traded for years — decades. It’s a complex network, a global economy, and children are the commodity.

We always say, “It takes a network to defeat a network.” Police forces, governments, specialists, we work across borders…to catch offenders and rescue their victims. But it takes parents and guardians too, because what people don’t get is that these monsters don’t look like monsters. It’s a neighbor, a family member, a stranger — and not the kind in
a creepy looking van, but someone online, and they’re doing everything they can to convince your child they’re a friend.

There’s no reason a ten-year-old needs to have a phone in their bedroom. In an ideal world, your kid’s life would be device-free. A kid without a smartphone can’t be exploited online. But, if they have to have one, just don’t let them use it in private spaces. We have to protect our children, and…empower them to protect themselves.

Tell your child that no one should ask to see their bodies and,  make sure communication between you stays open, so they know if someone asks them to keep a secret, they can talk to an adult they trust.

We’re rescuing thousands of children a year, and we’ll keep going, but there are still victims out there. And we’ll never stop working together to protect them, to find these predators, and to end this abuse.

Watch all of our educational videos here, and please SUBSCRIBE to our channel for more resources. This resource is available in 10 native languages, and is presented by Child Rescue Coalition, and made possible through the support of the UK Home Office. We are grateful for your support in spreading this message to protect kids across the globe.