New app helps to locate predators, rescue children from sexual abuse, exploitation
POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 1:04pm
NATIONAL NEWS — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is launching a new smartphone app – the first of its kind in U.S. federal law enforcement – designed to seek the public's help with fugitive and unknown suspect child predators. All tips can be reported anonymously through the app, by phone or online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to profiling the suspect in cases, the new smartphone app contains photos and information about known fugitives in HSI criminal cases involving sexually abused and exploited children.
"When children are being sexually abused and exploited, it's a race against the clock to rescue the child and bring the predator to justice," said ICE Acting Director John Sandweg. "These investigations are one of our highest priorities, and in today's world, we need to be technologically savvy and innovative in our approach."
ICE's Office of Public Affairs developed the app with special agents from HSI's Cyber Crimes Center (C3) and field offices across the country in order to seek the public's help with information about child predators wanted for criminal prosecution.
"The creation and launch of this application provides ICE another useful tool to reach the public," said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. "We recognize that people receive a great deal of information on their mobile devices and we are hopeful that this app will encourage them to submit tips about suspects and to learn more about our work investigating child exploitation crimes."
The Operation Predator App enables those who download it to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app enables users to view news about arrests and prosecutions of child predators and additional resources about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation.
Currently, the app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store or iTunes. ICE is also planning to expand compatibility to other smartphones in the near future. Click here to download the app.
HSI is requesting that anyone with information about fugitives profiled to contact the agency in one of two ways: Call the ICE Tip Line, which is staffed 24-hours a day: (866) 347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada or (802) 872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or complete an online tip form at www.ice.gov/tips/.
HSI's Victim Identification Program seeks to rescue child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation and bring the perpetrators to justice.