A dramatic rise in crimes against children is prompting Calgary police to bump up its child abuse unit.
The addition of seven investigators, nearly doubling the unit, is designed to help police deal with an increasing workload of disturbing cases of violence against youngsters.“It’s not just Calgary that’s seen this dramatic increase. It’s right across Canada and the U.S. It’s a dramatic, notable increase in offences against children,” said Calgary police Chief Rick Hanson.
In Calgary last year, there were 873 cases of children being beaten, sexually abused or killed.
That’s up from 713 in 2006.
Staff Sgt. Kelly Campbell heads the child abuse unit of 10 investigators, which is expanding to 17 to keep up.
“It is a concern that these cases are becoming more serious to children, they’re getting more and more aggressive with the injuries. That is in a sense troubling, we’re seeing more violence,” said Campbell.
“Our plan is to try and make Calgary aware that there is child abuse out there, it is our responsibility to take care of the children.”
The troubling numbers have spurred the creation of a new child advocacy centre geared toward merging agencies under one roof to serve victims and their families. It’s expected to open in the new year.
It will co-ordinate Crown prosecutors, welfare workers and police to better handle child abuse cases.
Source: Calgary Herald