FBI sees spike in violent crimes against children

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Predators are given more opportunities to prey on children as the world becomes more virtual.

Connor Hagan, the Little Rock Federal Bureau of Investigation Public Affairs Officer, said there were 30 cases of violent crimes against children in 2019, with the number almost quadrupling in 2020.

“Kids don’t need another friend when it comes to online activities,” Hagan said.

Violent crimes against children under the definition of the FBI include the distribution or production of child porn, child sex trafficking, and child extortion.

With only three months left in 2021, Hagan added the number could be even higher if parents do not pay closer attention to their child’s activity on their smart device.

“Parents need to know exactly what is going on with their children online, what apps they’re using, who they’re talking to,” he said, “they need to be able to see exactly what the conversations are.”

As parents monitor their child’s screen time, Hagan mentioned children should only talk to people they know in person and not send pictures or disclose information online to strangers.

The FBI has been working with local law enforcement in the state to catch child predators.

Jonesboro Police Department has several officers who work with the FBI.

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