Halifax Regional Police say a 56-year-old man has been arrested and charged after the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre detected explicit images of children online were being downloaded.
Police say the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit and criminal investigators searched a man’s residence and made an arrest on Thursday morning.
Investigators seized several electronic devices for forensic analysis, according to a news release.
The man from Halifax was charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.
Police say he is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
As the novel coronavirus continues to keep Canadians indoors, there’s been a rise in the online sexual exploitation of children according to a national tipline.
Cybertip.ca says it saw a 66 per cent spike in reports in April compared to the three previous months. The tipline processes reports from the public about potentially illegal material, including child pornography or online luring, and aims to act as a “triage” for law enforcement and child welfare.
According to Dr. Paul Fedoroff, a forensic psychiatrist and director of the Royal’s Sexual Behaviours Clinic in Ottawa, boredom and opportunity are two main factors behind why perpetrators of online sex crimes engage in predatory behaviour.
“People who have been convicted of these crimes… they talk about how they had a chance,” Fedoroff told Global News earlier this summer.
Halifax police advises parents to be aware of their children’s internet use.
“Know what websites and chat rooms your child visits and messages your child is sending and receiving,” says the HRP website.
Police recommend educating children on online safety and social media use.
— With files from Meghan Collie.