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SBI sees record reports of suspected online child exploitation

 The State Bureau of Investigation said it has received a record number of reports of suspected online child exploitation in 2021
The State Bureau of Investigation said it has received a record number of reports of suspected online child exploitation in 2021

The State Bureau of Investigation said it has received a record number of reports of suspected online child exploitation. This is despite many students' return to classrooms and parents' return to offices.

SBI's Computer Crimes Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force reported a record number of CyberTIps. It's the second straight record-setting year after 2020 also set a new benchmark.

CyberTips by year:

  • 2019: 4,930
  • 2020: 9,308
  • 2021: 12,760


“While we are hopeful this trend will not follow us into a new year, the numbers clearly indicate this is a very serious problem and we must do all we can to protect children online,” said Kevin Roughton, Special Agent in Charge, in a news release.

The top three sources for last year’s CyberTips came from Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, applications most parents believe are safe for their kids to use, added Roughton.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program is national network of 61 task forces, representing more than 5,400 federal, state, and local law enforcement, dedicated to investigating, prosecuting and developing effective responses to internet crimes against children.

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio

Naomi Prioleau joined WUNC in January 2017 as their Greensboro Bureau reporter.