We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

Trends in Arrests of "Online Predators"

March 2009:

A new CCRC study finds dramatic growth nationwide in arrests of online predators who solicited law enforcement investigators posing online as juveniles, the numbers nearly quintupling from 644 in 2000 to 3,100 in 2006.

During the same period, arrests of individuals for soliciting juveniles themselves grew a modest 21 percent, from an estimated 508 arrests in 2000 to an estimated 615 in 2006, at a time when use of the Internet by youth was growing from 73 percent to 93 percent.

Other results of this study include:

During the same period that online predator arrests were increasing, overall sex offenses against children and adolescents were declining, as were overall arrests for such crimes.

Arrests of online predators in 2006 constituted about 1 percent of all arrests for sex crimes committed against children and youth.

Although arrests of online predators are increasing, especially arrests for soliciting undercover law enforcement, the facts do not suggest that the Internet is facilitating an epidemic of sex crimes against youth. Rather, increasing arrests for online predation probably reflect increasing rates of youth Internet use, a migration of crime from offline to online venues and the growth of law enforcement activity against online crimes.

The nature of crimes in which online predators used the Internet to meet and victimize youth changed little between 2000 and 2006, despite the advent of social networking sites. Victims were adolescents, not younger children. Most offenders were open about their sexual motives in their online communications with youth. Few crimes (5 percent) involved violence.

There was no evidence that online predators were stalking or abducting unsuspecting victims based on information they posted at social networking sites.

The full study can be found here: by Janis Wolak, David Finkelhor, Kimberly Mitchell of the Crimes Against Children Research Center

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