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The RCMP and police agencies from across Canada have removed five children from harm and arrested or are investigating 150 people as part of a national operation that targeted child exploitation.
P.E.I. RCMP reported the province’s integrated child exploitation unit (ICE) made five arrests and have seven people with charges pending.
In a news release, Const. Shannon Hodder of the P.E.I. ICE unit said the RCMP continually work to prevent Internet facilitated child sexual exploitation and victimization of children.
“It’s hard to imagine the scope of the problem worldwide and even more difficult to accept that our communities here on P.E.I. are not immune.”
The arrests were part of Operation Snapshot III that started in February, involved more than 40 police agencies and was coordinated through the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre.
Operation Snapshot III targeted people who collect, possess, share, make available, distribute and produce child sexual exploitation material online.
The operation involved 167 investigations and resulted in the seizure of hundreds of computers and hard drives plus about 2 million images or videos across Canada.
The rescued children were from British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec.
Hodder said it’s important to stay vigilant towards the safety of children, which can be challenging because of technology and the secretive nature of the threats that seem to be constantly changing.
“Harm to our children won’t be tolerated.”