On Monday, Detective Tim Brady, representing the Fraternal Order of Police, briefed Idaho lawmakers on the growing crisis of Internet crimes against children.Â “In 2003, it’s estimated that there were 3,600 images of child pornography. Only two years later, there were 6.5 million,” said Brady, estimating 60,000 new images hit the web every month.
The message was clear -Â the proliferation of child sexual abuse and torture images is growing faster than the resources to combat the problem.Â Â
Brady told lawmakers that he and his colleagues would soon be on the Capitol’s doorstep in an effort to update many of Idaho’s current laws.Â “Current laws on enticement don’t include scenarios where children are enticed via text,” said Brady. “The laws don’t even refer to enticement via cell phone.”
Brady also told lawmakers that he’ll be coming to them in 2012 for more money.
“The state of Idaho has no one solely dedicated to investigating Internet crimes against children,” said Brady. “Training is expensive. So is technology. Our equipment is constantly outdated and predators are constantly outpacing us.”
Some of the disturbing realities Brady shared wereÂ estimates that 20 percent of pornography involves children, with 55 percent manufactured and sold here in the United States,Â generatingÂ an estimated $3 billion in annual sales.
“If what I’m telling you is disturbing, prepare yourself,” Brady warned legislators. “Our records indicate that 39 percent of all child pornography involves 3 to 5 year olds. Worse yet, 19 percent involves infants and toddlers under the age of 3.”
Without increased funding,Â Â theÂ task forceÂ Â canÂ only arrest and prosecute about 1 percent of child pornographers that they fear are operating in Idaho. “There’s no reason that these people who purvey in porn shouldn’t be paying for what they’ve done,” said Brady. “And I mean literally paying. Of course these people need to go to prison, but why can’t we insist on strong restitution fines? They should pay for all of the overtime and technology needed to catch them. And if you allow us to assess the fines, the money should go into a dedicated fund to combat Internet crimes against children.”
It’s estimated that more than 100,000 websites traffic child pornography. Rest aassured, IdahoÂ lawmakers will see DetectiveÂ BradyÂ this time next year with more statistics and an armful of recommendations for better funding and tougher laws.