News, Operation targeting online child sex abuse nets 141 arrests across Southern California : detailed suggestions and opinions about Operation targeting online child sex abuse nets 141 arrests across Southern California .
Authorities arrested 141 people across Southern California — most of them on suspicion of possessing child sexual abuse material — as part of a weeklong operation targeting online abuse, officials said Wednesday.
The effort was spearheaded by the long-running Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which comprises dozens of law enforcement agencies led by the LAPD. The results of the operation, which was conducted Sept. 6-12, were announced at a news conference outside Los Angeles police headquarters early Wednesday.
LAPD Capt. Jeff Bratcher said many predators take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to target victims — for example, by infiltrating online gaming sites where they might try to convince a child to send images of themselves in exchange for virtual credits that can be used to make in-game purchases. The rise of esports and social media platforms in recent years has caused a surge in abuse reports, he said.
“When we first started in 2004, we started LAPD’s ICAC because we received 458 tips that year. In 2019 that number rose to 8,500. In 2020, 2021, both years, were over 24,000. This year so far, we’re over 25,000, so we should end the year with over 36,000 cybertips,” he said in an interview after the news briefing. “And each one of these tips was one more potential child victim.”