Attorney General T.J. Donovan yesterday released 2021 statistics from the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC) which show an increase in the number of reported internet crimes against children. In 2021, VT-ICAC received 452 CyberTips from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, resulting in a sharp increase from the 376 CyberTips received in 2020.
Investigations conducted by VT-ICAC resulted in 42 prosecutions statewide in 2021. The Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vermont State Police, and other county and municipal law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies are affiliated with VT-ICAC.
VT-ICAC’s primary mission is to prevent the victimization and exploitation of children through the use of computers, technology, or the internet by investigating cases of child sexual exploitation occurring over the internet, including the production and online sharing of child sexual abuse materials, also referred to as child pornography.
When asked about ways to help prevent exploitation of children online, VT-ICAC Commander Matthew Raymond said, “Parents and guardians need to be involved in their children’s digital lives in the same way that they need to be involved in their children’s everyday life. Know where your children are going online, review the apps they are using, monitor use, set boundaries, and keep communicating with your children about their safety.”
VT-ICAC receives reports of suspected child sexual exploitation from law enforcement and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which provides a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation through its CyberTipline.
To report a suspected crime against a child, contact local law enforcement immediately. To make a CyberTipline Report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, visit report.cybertip.org or call 1-800-843-5678.