Several People arrested and charged in Internet Child Exploitation
Belleville, Ontario; The Belleville Police Service has been a member of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet since 2013 being one of the 28 member police services in the Province. The Belleville Police Service has been involved in many multi-jurisdictional investigations, most recently as part of Project Mercury that was spearheaded in Canada by the Toronto Police Service. Between 2014 and 2017, 16 Canadians were among 150 people worldwide who were arrested and charged with numerous offences including Child Pornography to Sexual assault. One of the arrested was a 36 year old Belleville man.
The Belleville Police Service has worked with a number of agencies across North America. Agencies include Cybertip.ca, United States Homeland Security and a number of US State Police agencies. The Belleville Police Service routinely works with our surrounding police agencies including the Ontario Provincial Police and Kingston Police Service. The Internet does not have borders and therefore neither do these internet investigations.
In January of 2018 The Belleville Police Service was able to begin a number of proactive on-line investigations in an attempt to identify local online predators and persons in possession of Child Pornography. Some of the investigations involve using on-line undercover techniques; others involve specific techniques to identify known child pornography content on the internet.
On the 7th of February, 2018 the after a 1 month long investigation the Belleville Police Service arrested 53 year old Belleville resident Peter Palmer. Palmer was charged with making child pornography, making an arrangement to commit a sexual offence to a person under 16 years of age and luring a person under the age of 16 years. Palmer is currently before the courts.
On the 8th of May, 2018 after a 2 month investigation the Belleville Police Service executed a Search Warrant and arrested 49 year old Dennis Christensen of Belleville charging him with possession of child pornography, and making child pornography available. This investigation is continuing.
On the 30th of May, 2018 after a 2 and a half month investigation the Belleville Police Service arrested 56 year old James Fancy of Belleville was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography available. This investigation is continuing.
The Belleville Police Service has an excellent relationship with the Hastings County Crown Attorney’s office. Crown Attorney Lee Burgess states “For the past several years, the Belleville Police Service has been actively engaged in investigations such as child pornography, child luring, and other child exploitation investigations. In Partnership we have had exceptional success in prosecuting offenders who pose a significant risk to young people.”
The Belleville Police Service wants the public to know that they have a number of active ICE investigations and anyone who is accessing, distributing or making child pornography in the City of Belleville will be identified using the latest technology and dealt with according to the law.
Chief Gignac states “As a community, and as a police force we must continually ask ourselves if the way that we have always been doing things is good enough for now, and good enough for the future. We do this every week and sometimes every day when we conduct strategic planning and deployment briefings here at the Belleville Police. In the case of ICE, I asked our Police Services Board for an additional police officer to be added to the ranks of the Service last year specific to ICE and the board approved this new position. A few months ago the national statistics for internet child exploitation increased exponentially in just one year. Citizens can be assured that the Belleville Police is committing the resources and expertise where it’s needed and where the Chief and the subject matter experts of the police service anticipate the resources will need to be shifted or increased based upon intelligence, trends, combined forces efforts, and community mobilization. Internet child exploitation, human smuggling and trafficking, child pornography, and child luring is a scourge. As citizens, we must do our best to prevent children and young people from becoming victims of sinister individuals preying upon our national treasure—who are our children.”
Anyone with information on Internet Child Exploitation can contact the Belleville Police Service, CrimeStoppers or Cybertip.ca. Chief Gignac adds “By acting upon known information, or acting upon your conscience towards suspected ICE offenders, you might be saving a child from a lifetime of torment and emotional struggles or premature death in many forms. We try to do everything humanly possible within our ranks to prevent ICE. We do so with our great police partner agencies, our Ministry of Community Safety, and many other investigative and victim agency/organization partners but----We cannot do this all alone as your police service---We can however accomplish great things working together as citizens and police.”
Thanks go out to our great citizens for moving Belleville towards being the "Safest community in Ontario".
“This Project has been made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.”