The first step to preventing cyber-crimes against children is community education

The second is knowing how to handle the evidence when the worst happens

By Jessica Smith         

This morning, I entered a new chapter on parenting. “Mom, can I have a cell phone?” The question came from the back seat as we drove to kindergarten. My child’s pigtail-framed, serious blue eyes in the rearview mirror told me she wasn’t kidding (as I had desperately hoped). Before you have a coronary, the answer is no, my tiny human will not be getting a cell phone for a long time. Yet decisions about how and when to allow younger children to access technology are inevitable, especially as technology surges forward and schools require more digital participation. For both parents and law enforcement officers, the best way to face off against this potential foe is preparation. Knowing how predators operate via digital platforms and in person as well as prevention strategies can help you better investigate cases of exploitation, as well as protect children from becoming victims.

To effectively help communities stay safe and respond to these crimes when they happen, investigators will need some basic background information about this predatory process.


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