Reports of cases of sexual exploitation of minors have increased sharply due to the pandemic, indicates the most recent annual report of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).
The number of denunciations received on this subject by the SQ was up 76%, in 2020-2021, compared to the previous year.
“This increase is part of the context of the pandemic where the time spent in front of the screen has increased, favoring opportunities for online sexual exploitation”, indicates the SQ in its report made public to the National Assembly. , Tuesday.
The police force does not specify the number of reports linked to this increase or how many have proven to be founded.
In June, the Quebec government announced $ 100 million over five years to step up efforts by Quebec police to detect and crack down on the sexual exploitation of minors.
People in distress
The pandemic has also had an increasing impact on the number of SQ interventions with people in distress.
The situations of hostage-taking, barricaded people, suicidal or whose mental state is disturbed increased by 32% compared to the previous year, indicates the annual report of the SQ.
“The context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health measures have had repercussions on the mental health of many citizens,” explains the police force.