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Meehan Honored for Fight Against Internet Predators

Meehan Honored for Fight Against Internet Predators

As District Attorney, Meehan founded Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

DREXEL HILL, PA – Pat Meehan was honored yesterday by the Delaware County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force for his effort to protect our youth from online predators.  Meehan founded the task force ten years ago while serving as Delaware County District Attorney.  The task force went on to become a nationally recognized model for its efforts to combat internet crimes against children.
 
“You get a real sense of accomplishment when you look back and see what this task force has accomplished over the course of the past ten years,” said Meehan. “We’ve put some truly despicable people behind bars and helped make the internet a little safer for the millions of young people who use it every day.”
 
Meehan noted that according to a study by the University of New Hampshire, 1 in 7 children have received some type of inappropriate solicitation over the Internet, while 1 in 25 youth have been the targets of aggressive solicitations.  These solicitors asked to meet the youth in person, called them on the telephone, or sent offline mail, money, or gifts.
 
Meehan also said that with the proliferation of smart phones, laptops, and other electronic devices, we are finding that more and more of our youth is at risk.  Meehan cited a study released earlier this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that youth and teens ages 8 to 18 spend 7 ½ hours a day using an electronic device such as computer, television or smart phone.  Three quarters of all youth from 7th to 12th grade report having a profile on a social networking site. As use of electronic devices has proliferated and costs have decreased, more and more of our youth are at risk.
 
“When we launched the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in 2000, this was largely a new area for law enforcement,” said Meehan.  “We were one of the first ten such programs funded in the United States, bringing together federal, state, and local law enforcement agents in an effort to pursue on-line predators.”

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