Its not just a picture


2019-08-27 13:53 PDT

File # 2019 Child pornograhy investigations

Man at computer

Another week and three more files land on the desk on the Corporal in charge of the Nanaimo RCMP General Investigation Unit, which has the arduous task of overseeing all child pornography investigations. The number of reported incidents continue to increase each year, fifteen in 2016, twenty-nine in 2017, forty-two in 2018 and twenty-five received to date in 2019.

The shared co-operation and expertise of the British Columbia Integrated Child Exploitation Unit (BC ICE) and various other police agencies across North America, IP addresses, websites and e-mails, provide the digital evidence necessary to pursue individuals who possess and distribute pornographic images of children.

Investigators often hear its just a picture but they couldn’t be more wrong. It is in fact an image of a real person whose life will never be the same. Simply looking at these horrendous images continues the vicious cycle of abuse and re-victimization. It must stop, said Staff Sergeant Harvey Legary, Plain Clothes Commander with the Nanaimo RCMP. With advances in technology now, offenders have no where to hide and are quickly exposed and held accountable for their actions.

Recent sentences handed down in Nanaimo Provincial court of six and ten years and a lifetime registration on the National sex offender database, sends a strong message to offenders.  If you’re involved in these activities, expect a knock on your door by officers armed with a search warrant. Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) will not hide your digital thumbprint. You will be outed and you will go to jail. said Legary.

The investigations are time consuming and require countless hours of reviewing and cataloguing often thousands of images of children being sexually exploited. The ages vary, some victims are just infants while others may be in their teens. The toll the investigations have on investigators can be significant and for that reason, mental health checks up and peer to peer support is essential.  Its tough but it pales in comparison to the long term impact it has on the victims and their loved ones. For that reason, we push through, said Legary.

If you know of anyone who possesses or distributes child pornography, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at or call 1-800-222-8477.

Released by

Cst. Gary O'Brien

Media Relations Officer
Community Policing Services, Nanaimo
303 Prideaux St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N3
Office: 250-755-3257
Cell: 250-713-0701
Fax: 250-755-3238


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