Police probe reveals ‘disturbing’ online trade in child porn in B.C.

RCMP uncover 1,200 instances of B.C. residents using peer-to-peer networks to transfer child porn photos and videos

Police say they uncovered more than 1

RCMP say a six-month investigation last year uncovered 1,228 incidents of B.C. residents illegally sharing “troubling” child pornography, including photos and videos of child sexual abuse, using peer-to-peer networks.

New crime rate data released today by Statistics Canada show child pornography cases reported by police more than quadrupled from 300 in 2013 to 1,271 in 2014.

But RCMP Insp. Ed Boettcher said the numbers don’t necessarily reflect a spike in actual activity but rather a better baseline estimate following the project by the B.C. Integrated Child Exploitation Unit.

“It was certainly eye opening to me,” Boettcher said. “It more accurately reflects the the scope of the issue.”

Officers with the B.C. ICE unit had tracked internet addresses of B.C. computers trading in known illegal material using online networks.

It was the first broad sweep of its kind and revealed what Boettcher called a disturbing and tragic level of activity.

“These are crimes against children, they’re serious and they result in life-long emotional scars,” he said. “The internet is forever.”

The surge in activity uncovered was not matched by a major rise in culprits caught – a total of 107 accused pornographers were charged last year, up modestly from 2013.

But Boettcher said more are expected as police continue their investigations.

He said the probe has led to charges against 18 accused and two have already been convicted.

Violators who hide behind a computer screen can expect to lose their anonymity when they’re caught, he said.

“Our initial investigation provided us a rough location of where these offences were occurring. We are now pursuing these investigations,” Boettcher said.

“For those that think they can engage in this type of criminal act and hide, you should know that we have the expertise to find you.”

He also urged residents and business owners to monitor their computers for illegal activity and use strong password protection to secure wireless networks so they can’t be used for criminal file-sharing.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Snowfall in the Okanagan shatters records. (Contributed)
Snowfall in Okanagan breaks records dated back to 1899

Penticton has received over 10 cm today, surpassing the 8 cm record set in 1957

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal)
Candidates’ messages: Columbia River Revelstoke

The Bulletin offered each candidate in Columbia River Revelstoke space to hold forth on issues important to them and to voters.

Earth from Space.
Morning Start: It would only take one hour to drive to space

Your morning start for Friday, Oct. 23, 2020

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Andrew Allen performed for two intimate crowds of 50 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Oct. 17. (Camillia Courts Photography)
Live events continue on North Okanagan stage

First Andrew Allen plays two sold-out shows, next up have a laugh with comedian Mike Delamont

Most Read