Building Knowledge

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice Canada.

Winter 2013/2014

Building Knowledge Issue 6 – Online Luring and Internet Use

The offence of luring a child is defined in Section 172.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada as the use of telecommunication to communicate with someone who is, or who the perpetrator believes to be, under the age of 18, for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence against that child.Footnote 1 In 2002, the Criminal Code of Canada was amended to include the offence of luring a child through the Internet.Footnote 2

Data on adult criminal court cases that involve child luring charges are collected by Statistics Canada through the adult component of the Integrated Criminal Court Survey. As can be seen in Figure 1 below, the number of child luring cases completed in adult criminal court increased consistently between 2003/2004 and 2011/2012. In 2003/2004, shortly after the amendment of the Criminal Code, there were 22 cases completed in adult criminal court in which there was at least one child luring charge, while in 2011/20122, there were 127 completed cases.

There are a number of possible reasons for the increase in online child luring cases. These include greater awareness of the issues, police-based programs and the creation of Cybertip.ca. Other possible reasons are that Canadians' use of the Internet is growing. Moreover, the Internet is accessible through many different devices such as desktop and laptop computers, wireless handheld devices and game consoles.Footnote 3 A recent survey found that the majority of youth in Grades 4 to 11 have access to the Internet outside of school. These youth also use portable devices to access the Internet.Footnote 4 The greater accessibility that children have to the Internet may increase their risk of victimization. All of these factors would benefit from further research and monitoring.

Figure 1: Number of child luring cases completed in adult criminal court, 2003/04 to 2011/12

Text equivalent of Figurine 1 below

Figure 1 - Text equivalent

A line graph showing the number of incidents of police-reported child pornography for the years 2003 to 2012.

A line graph showing the number of child luring cases that were completed in adult criminal court for the years 2003/2004 to 2011/2012. The graph represents all completed cases containing at least one Criminal Code child luring charge. The data represent the ten jurisdictions that have consistently reported to the Integrated Criminal Court Survey since 2001/2002. The jurisdictions not covered are Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

The Y axis is measured in number of cases and increases in increments of 50, from 0 up to 200. The X axis lists the years, left to right: 2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012.

In 2003/2004, there were 18 child luring cases completed in adult criminal court; in 2004/2005, there were 22 cases; in 2005/2006, there were 42 cases; in 2006/2007, there were 40 cases; in 2007/2008, there were 59 cases; in 2008/2009, there were 76 cases; in 2009/2010, there were 88 cases; in 2010/2011, there were 122 cases; and in 2011/2012, there were 147 cases of child luring completed in adult criminal court.

Notes: Represents all completed cases containing at least one Criminal Code child luring charge. Data represent the ten jurisdictions that have consistently reported to the Integrated Criminal Court Survey since 2001/2002. The jurisdictions not covered are Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Source: : Integrated Criminal Court Survey, 2003/2004 to 2011/2012

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