Illinois officials address increase in child exploitation reports

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly held a news conference on Thursday to address an increase in online child exploitation reports.

The Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force reported receiving 5,184 tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020.

Raoul said he expects a 16% increase in reports in 2021.

“Criminal investigations are increasingly digital, and that demands greater investments in training and technology and greater partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to pursue criminal activity in the cyber world,” said Kelly.

Raoul said most of the reports are of abuse by children by adults, but said there was also a rise in Snapchat and Instagram posts of children sharing other minors’ self-created content.

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