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Calgary Police Sex Crimes Unit investigating more cases than ever before amid #MeToo movement

Click to play video 'Calgary Police Sex Crimes Unit investigating more cases than ever before amid #MeToo movement' Calgary Police Sex Crimes Unit investigating more cases than ever before amid #MeToo movement
WATCH: Statistics show more Calgarians are coming forward with allegations of both current and historical sexual abuse. Nancy Hixt explains.

The Calgary Police Sex Crimes Unit is investigating more cases than ever before and investigators admit it could be partly due to the #MeToo movement.

READ MORE: Calgary council turns focus to #MeToo movement at strategic budget session

Statistics show more people are coming forward with allegations of both current and historical sexual abuse — some dating back 40 years.

The sex crimes unit specifically looks at the most serious of all sexual assault cases.

In the past year, there has been a 32 per cent jump in the number of cases it has investigated. In 2017, the unit looked at 391 cases, while in 2016 there were 296 cases.

The number of charges laid by the unit has also nearly doubled over a year, up from 77 in 2016 to 143 in 2017.

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READ MORE: 7-year sentence for man convicted in vicious downtown Calgary sex assault

Police believe the #MeToo movement could be partially responsible for the increased stats.

“The community is starting to talk about sexual violence,” CPS Staff Sgt. Bruce Walker said.

“It’s always been a taboo issue that really was never discussed, but I think now that we’re seeing so much media about it over the last year…people are feeling more comfortable. And it’s a community issue and they have that community support to come forward.”

Walker said it’s positive to see people having the courage to come forward.

“Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual assault — at the end of the day the community is now saying, ‘This is no longer tolerated. It doesn’t matter if you are a big-time actor or actress in Hollywood or an average citizen in the city.”