Canadian Centre for Child Protection has said that ‘sadly this is not surprising.’ Winnipeg police Chief Danny Smyth stated that this increase in child pornography charges has been caused by quarantine. Since more people have been staying at home, they have become more aware of others’ actions.
Last year, there were 287 incidents regarding child pornography in Winnipeg, which is a 92.6 percent increase from 2019. It’s also 200 percent more than the five-year average.
Chief Danny Smyth said:
“I think it’s just we’re being made aware of a lot more of these incidents. That’s generally how child porn comes to our attention — people report other people — so I think you’re seeing a little bit of that. A lot of people are living in close households aware of other people’s activities. So we certainly are aware of that spike.”
Smyth stated that he doesn’t know how many incidents are related to making, distributing or consuming child sexual abuse materials.
Signy Arnason, the associate executive director for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in Winnipeg, also commented:
“It’s certainly distressing … but sadly not surprising. Kids are at home, most of the learning is online, the connectivity is happening at substantially increased rates. And then that leaves them more vulnerable to being exploited. It’s really happening on all sides for kids.”
On the other hand, the statistics also show that the overall number of violent crimes has decreased.