McGuinty Government Funds Provincial Strategy To Protect Children From Internet Crimes

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Funds Provincial Strategy To Protect Children From Internet Crimes

Ministry of the Attorney General

Provincial Strategy Fights Sexual Abuse And Exploitation Of Children TORONTO, Sept. 4 - The McGuinty government has invested $738,000 in its coordinated two-year provincial strategy to fight Internet crimes against children, Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter and Attorney General Michael Bryant said today. "Ontario is already a world leader in providing Internet safety programs for children, and we are committed to taking even more action with stronger, more comprehensive and coordinated measures to safeguard this province's children," Kwinter said. "Keeping children safe from Internet predators and other online dangers is a key priority of the McGuinty government's fight against crime." "We are using the most advanced technology and the best tools at our disposal to conduct investigations and prosecution, to help keep our kids safe," Bryant said. "By using a team approach, we can also offer effective services that help child victims and their families recover, and protect them from further victimization." Funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General's Victims' Justice Fund, the provincial strategy is a unified team approach that involves the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), 18 municipal and regional police services, Crown prosecutors, the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat and community victim service providers. The strategy includes an undercover team of police officers to conduct Internet child luring investigations and more support for child victims and their families. This investment is the first of two instalments in the $5-million strategy. In addition, as part of the strategy, the government has allocated $20,000 to the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers to develop and operate a dedicated child victims' tip line and referral service over the same two-year period. Anyone who knows of children being victimized by child predators or being lured on the Internet can call Crime Stoppers. "The exploitation of children by whatever means is appalling and unconscionable," added Kwinter. "That is why the McGuinty government has been working with the policing community including the OPP and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police to develop a coordinated, provincewide approach to stop offenders, protect our children, and help victims recover." "The OPP is a leader in the area of child pornography and electronic investigations," Commissioner Julian Fantino said. "But the only way to protect our children online is to make available to children and their parents the knowledge and awareness of how to keep themselves safe. We're pleased to be able to make a significant contribution in that regard." "There is no greater responsibility for law enforcement than the protection of society's most vulnerable members," said Chief Bill Blair, president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police. "This funding helps my officers in Toronto as well as officers across the province to support one another in child exploitation investigations." This provincewide approach will help police services solve more Internet crimes against children and apprehend offenders more quickly, reducing the number of children who are victimized. Disponible en français www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------ PROVINCIAL STRATEGY TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION ON THE INTERNET The McGuinty government has provided the first of two instalments of a $5-million investment over two years in a strategy to identify and help child victims of Internet sexual abuse and exploitation. The provincial strategy is funded through the Ministry of the Attorney General's Victims' Justice Fund. At the request of the Ontario government, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police developed a coordinated provincewide approach to combat Internet crimes against children. The basis of the provincial strategy is a unified team approach consisting of Crown prosecutors, the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat, community victim service providers, the OPP and municipal and regional police services including Barrie, Brantford, Durham, Sudbury, Guelph, Halton, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Waterloo, Windsor and York. The $5-million provincial strategy includes: - An undercover team of municipal police officers to conduct online child-luring investigations by monitoring chat rooms and newsgroups to identify suspects and victims, and prevent further victimization - Assistance for child victims and families to offer emotional support, referral to appropriate community services and practical assistance - Coordination, training and assistance for dedicated Crown prosecutors to ensure a uniform level of excellence with respect to victim support and prosecution of Internet child exploitation offences throughout the province - Increased work with other agencies and jurisdictions, including other law enforcement agencies and organizations such as Child Find Ontario that will help to apprehend offenders and assist victims. In addition, as part of the strategy, the government has allocated $20,000 to the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers, over the same two-year period, to develop and operate a dedicated child victims' tip line and referral service. The association will also take calls from children who may have been victimized and refer them to the appropriate agencies. The first of two instalments of this $5 million commitment is now being made to municipal and regional police services. Contacts: Anthony Brown Brendan Crawley Ministry of Community Safety and Ministry of the Attorney General Correctional Services Communications Branch Communications Branch 416-326-2210 416-314-7772 Disponible en français www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Annette Phillips, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Minister's Office, (416) 326-8265, (647) 205-6598 (cellular); Anthony Brown, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7772; Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Annette Phillips, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Minister's Office, (416) 326-8265, (647) 205-6598 (cellular); Anthony Brown, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7772; Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210