Police respond to child exploitation allegations made in YouTube video
EDMONTON – A YouTube video posted by a group calling themselves Anonymous is getting a lot of attention online, for its claims that it has lured and identified sexual predators in Edmonton. The ALERT Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit is now addressing the video, with a warning to Edmontonians.
The video posted Saturday says: “Hello, Citizens of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We are Anonymous. We have been waiting patiently over the last 24 hours for your police service to respond to us with some form of proof that they have apprehended the individuals that we lured out during our “pedo-sweep” operation in your city. We have not.”
The video then goes on to name two individuals, and even reveal where they work – something police are worried might spark vigilante justice.
“I would just caution anyone and everyone to not judge anybody by information that isn’t complete over the Internet, especially, and when all the facts aren’t know. I think it’s really important to let the police do their job,” said Bob Andrews of the ALERT Internet Child Exploitation unit at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Andrews said police were contacted about the matter in May, and while he can’t comment on any ongoing investigations, he does say, “based on the information in the YouTube video, there would never be enough evidence to convict a person.”
He added that the ICE unit takes cases of child exploitation very seriously, and that if officers did believe a child was in imminent danger, they would have “absolutely acted on it.”
Andrews also said that police have reached out to whoever posted the video in hopes of setting up a meeting, but those attempts have been unsuccessful.
Police will now be looking at how this video may have impacted any of their ongoing investigations.
“Whenever anybody releases information that may obstruct an investigation,” he explained, “there are potential charges that could be laid.”