CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Lehi Police Department shines a light on child trafficking

Aug 25, 2023, 12:16 PM | Updated: 6:47 pm

child trafficking Lehi...

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LEHI, Utah — A recent Facebook post about child trafficking by the Lehi Police Department garnered both attention and support from the community. 

According to Sgt. David Colqui, the post is meant to bring public awareness to the fact that crimes of human trafficking can happen in any community.

“I think a lot of times people will hear about these kinds of things and think that kind of stuff will never happen to them, or that is not in our community,” said Colqui. 

 

Crime by the numbers

The Lehi PD said in the last year they have received over 500 calls of physical or child sex abuse. Additionally, the city had eight cases of kids being exploited or people possessing child pornography. The department also had one child rescue.

Crimes involving children are the “most sobering” crimes police deal with, Colqui said. 

“Yeah, well, crimes against children especially those are the sexual nature are among the most heinous crimes that law enforcement is called upon to investigate and deal with.”

A way to help

According to Colqui, Lehi is relatively safe with a low crime rate, no city is immune to this sort of crime. However, being an alert and vigilant citizen can make all the difference.  

“In my experience, the last 14 years the citizens make the most difference, as to, you know, what the crime rates are in the city that they live,” he said. 

“Posting about these heinous crimes against children is an effort to make the public aware of it. And, you know, if we can get if we even get, like one person to call in and report something that they think is suspicious, and that ends up leading to the arrest or the ending of some child torment, then that’s what we’re looking for.”

Information for parents

The Facebook post listed apps parents should be aware of. According to the department, the apps sex offenders target most are Snapchat, Omegle, Instagram and Discord.

Additionally, the apps most used for sharing explicit images are Snapchat, Instagram, Discord, Kik and Dropbox.

Resources for parents and missing children

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Lehi Police Department shines a light on child trafficking