West Shore RCMP undertaking 17 child porn investigations

12 of the investigations in Langford

West Shore RCMP reported there are currently 17 ongoing child porn investigations in the West Shore, with 12 of them taking place in Langford.

The investigations, according to West Shore RCMP Cst. Nancy Saggar, have been going on for just over a year since Jan. 2018 and involve varying offences in the child porn category.

Saggar said most of the offences are possession charges and some are distribution charges.

RELATED: B.C. middle school vice-principal charged with child porn offences

However, Saggar said she does not believe the number of investigations are abnormal and that the public should not be worried for their safety. She said the first thing investigators look at is whether or not anyone is at risk or will potentially be at risk. Once public safety is determined, the rest of the investigation follows.

“We don’t think we’re different than any other jurisdiction for the amount of investigations we have per capita that involve child porn,” Saggar said. “It’s very important to recognize there isn’t an increased amount of potential offenders living in our area compared to others.”

The investigations are rolling over into 2019 because they take a fair amount of time to complete, according to Saggar. She said RCMP officers have to obtain different warrants to be able to search people’s homes and computers or storage devices. Sometimes, Saggar said, surveillance needs to be conducted in order to get grounds for a search warrant.

RELATED: VicPD arrest two men for attempting to lure children over the internet

“Are these investigations taxing for investigators? Yes they are,” Saggar said. “We’re looking for those fine details that are going to give us a paper trail or data trail leading to that suspect.”

According to Saggar, some of the investigations have already gone to court and are waiting on sentencing while others are just getting started.

Saggar noted that 17 investigations does not mean police are investigating 17 different people. She also said they occured over a period of one year and not within a short period of time. Saggar was not able to say how many people are being investigated.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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