PHILADELPHIA – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today toured the Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in Philadelphia. As part of the visit, Attorney General Gonzales met with members of the task force to discuss the importance of protecting children from online sexual exploitation.
The ICAC Task Force Program was created to help state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use Internet, online communication systems or other computer technology to sexually exploit children. Each ICAC Task Force works with state and local law enforcement agencies to develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases by assisting with forensic and investigative components, providing training and technical assistance, victim services and community education. There are currently 46 ICAC Task Forces nationwide.
“The ICAC Task Forces are critical to our nation’s effort to safeguard young people from online victimization and abuse,” said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. “As a father and as the chief law enforcement officer, I care deeply about these issues, and I've made protecting our children a priority for the Justice Department. We’re proud to partner with and continue supporting the ICAC Task Forces.”
In 2006, the Delaware County ICAC Task Force has handled 680 complaints resulting in 56 arrests. Additionally, from January 2000 to December 2006, the Delaware County ICAC Task Force has opened more than 2,500 cases of investigative interests. Of those cases, 619 were travelers, 128 were online enticement, and 1,806 were peer-to-peer investigations involving the possession and distribution of graphic child pornography. These investigations ultimately resulted in 306 arrests, the seizure and forensic examinations of 1,318 electronic media involving crimes against children, the serving of 356 subpoenas, 1,695 court orders and 811 search warrants. Additionally, since January 2000, the Delaware County ICAC Task Force has referred 113 cases to federal law enforcement, 433 to local law enforcement and 336 to the state.
An important part of the ICAC Task Force mission is to educate the local community on the dangers of online predators. Since January 2000, the Delaware County ICAC Task Force has provided over 367 Internet Safety Presentations to Schools, Parent Teacher Associations and Community Groups reaching over 33,200 individuals. In 2006 alone, members of the ICAC Task Force gave more than 150 presentations to more than 19,000 educators, students, community leaders and parents.
Attorney General Gonzales visited Philadelphia to promote Project Safe Childhood (PSC), the Department’s ongoing initiative designed to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation through the Internet. Established by Attorney General Gonzales in February 2006, PSC is intended to help law enforcement and community leaders develop a coordinated strategy to prevent, investigate and prosecute sexual predators, abusers and pornographers who target children. For more information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat the online sexual exploitation of children, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.