Child Exploitation Section
The Child Exploitation Section (The CES) is a specialized unit staffed by highly trained & skilled investigators in various disciplines including undercover investigations, Internet child luring, national and international multi-jurisdictional projects, technical forensic examination, forensic child interviewing, offender interviewing, and Victim Identification. The CES is proud to be one of 26 members of the Ontario Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet. The Strategy is a coordinated, province-wide approach to combat Internet crimes against children.
Typical offences we investigate include:
- Luring a Child (Section 172.1 CCC)
- Child Pornography (Possession, Accessing, Make Available, Making, Distribution) (Section 163.1 CCC)
- Voyeurism (Section 162 (1) CCC)
- Make Agreement/Arrangement to Commit Sexual Offence against a Child (Section 172.2 CCC)
- Making Sexually Explicit Material Available to a Child (Section 171.1 CCC)
- Non-consensual distribution of intimate images (Section 162.1 CCC)
We work collaboratively with witnesses and survivors to connect them to resources from specialized support agencies such as Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (Boost CYAC) the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Our investigators are committed to making the online world a safer place for children and developing prevention strategies with our external community partners. We adopt various approaches including education, consultation and promoting Internet safety through presentations to schools, universities and community groups.
Online Safety Tips
- Do not share personal information, such as your home address, age, school, etc, online.
- Never chat with strangers online and never agree to meet anyone in person that you met online.
- Create passwords that are hard to guess and change them often. Do not use the same password on multiple accounts. An example of a strong password will include a mix of characters (numbers, upper & lowercase letters, special characters) and longer than 15 characters. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) when available.
- Disable or cover-up webcams when not in use. Ensure your computer is protected from malware.
- Enable privacy settings on your social media applications so only your chosen contacts will see your posts.
- Avoid sharing/posting intimate images or videos online. A good rule of thumb is to not engage in behaviour online that you would not do in person. People you meet online may not be who they claim they are and they may save screenshots of your images/videos, which they may later use in extortion scams.
- Do not click on links in emails, texts or messaging apps from unknown senders.
- Do not create usernames that are derivatives of your real name, age, date of birth, location, or any other information that could reveal your identity.
- Avoid taking quizzes online unless you are comfortable with their terms of service.
To report a child exploitation offence in Toronto call 416-808-2222, or if it's an emergency dial 9-1-1.
The Child Exploitation Section can be reached directly by calling 416-808-8500, or by e-mail: ChildExploitation@torontopolice.on.caWe are also on the Social Media, on , and on .
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a danger to playing online games?
A: While online gaming can be beneficial to your child’s social interaction and motor skills development, you need to be aware that there are risks involved with any online activity. Some online gaming platforms may be used by sex predators to groom and lure children. We encourage parents to monitor their children’s activities online and to be aware of the information that is being exchanged with players. If a player asks your child for pictures or to chat privately on a third-party application then we suggest you block that player.
Q: How do I ensure my child does not view pornography and inappropriate content online?
A: To protect your children from inadvertent exposure to sexually explicit content online, we recommend that you enable parental controls on all electronic devices and set a password or PIN that your child can not easily guess. Setting time limits of online access and regularly monitoring your child’s interactions online are also steps you can take to minimize their exposure. We recommend making it a rule for children to not keep their electronic devices in the bathroom, bedroom or any private areas of the home. Devices should only be used and charged in common areas of the home where parents/guardians can observe their online activities.
Q: I exchanged intimate images/videos that were taken when I was under 18 years old with someone I met online. I just learned that those images/videos are being shared online without my consent. What are my options?
A: Non-consensual distribution of intimate images/videos is a criminal offence and should be reported to your local police service. If you do not wish to file a police report, you may report the offence to Cybertip.ca or anonymously to Crime Stoppers. You may also refer to the resources and tools on needhelpnow.ca for help on removing your content from the Internet.
Additionally, you may also report the offence directly to the social media app or website where the content is being shared. Regardless of which option you choose, we encourage you to seek help through any agency that supports victims and know that you can also contact your local police service for advice whenever you feel ready to proceed. We also recommend that you do not engage in communication with the offender and for you to save any screenshots or links you have of the content being distributed.