Child luring through the Internet 2006 and 2007

Police services across Canada reported 464 incidents of child luring over the Internet during the two-year period of 2006 and 2007.

This total represents a rate of about 3 such incidents per 100,000 young people aged 17 and under reported to police each year. It is much lower than the rate for other crimes involving child victims.

In the two-year period, 64% of child luring incidents were not solved by police. This figure is higher than the proportion of unsolved child pornography offences (55%) and “other sexual offences” (24%), such as sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation and incest.

The proportion of unsolved child luring incidents likely reflects the unique challenges in identifying and apprehending online predators.

An accused was identified in about one-third of child luring offences during the two-year period. In comparison, an accused was identified in about half of child pornography incidents and more than three-quarters of “other sexual offences” during this time.

About 6 in 10 of those accused in child luring offences were younger adult males aged between 18 and 34. In comparison, men aged 18 to 34 constituted about 3 in 10 of those accused in child pornography violations and crimes categorized as “other sexual offences” during this period.

To date, relatively few child luring cases have been processed by the criminal courts. Of those cases involving at least one charge of child luring completed in the courts between 2003/2004 and 2006/2007, about three-quarters resulted in a finding of guilt.

Custody was imposed in almost half (46%) of all guilty cases having at least one charge of child luring, with custodial sentences averaging 374 days in length. In comparison, custody was ordered in 45% of cases involving convictions for sex crimes classified as “other sexual offences,” with an average sentence length of 465 days.Study: Obesity on the job 2005

Note: This study examines the first available police-reported and criminal court data on Internet child luring, including the characteristics of this relatively new criminal offence, those accused of committing it and the court cases involving child luring charges.

The collection and reporting of child luring incidents by police began following amendments to the Criminal Code in 2002. These amendments included a new offence that made it “illegal to communicate with children (under the age of 18) over the Internet for the purpose of committing a sexual offence.”

Police-reported data for this study come mainly from the 2006 and 2007 incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Surveys with coverage representing about 92% of the Canadian population.

Criminal court data are drawn from the Integrated Criminal Courts Survey, representing about 98% of the national criminal court caseload.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 3302, 3309 and 3312.

The article “Child luring through the Internet,” is now available in Juristat, Vol. 29, no. 1 (85-002-XWE, free). From the home page of our website, under the right hand side bar, choose Juristat, then Current issue.

You can find more details, charts and tables at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090312/dq090312b-eng.htm

For further information or to schedule interviews with a Statistics Canada Analyst regarding this release please contact: Jey Dharmaraj, at: (416) 954-5976 or jey.dharmaraj@statcan.ca .
 

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