Calgary police link social media campaigns with rise in sex crime complaints
Calgary’s police chief says social media campaigns have lead to more people reporting sex crimes and he needs more detectives for investigations.
Chief Roger Chaffin says campaigns such as #IBelieveYou, #MeToo and #TimesUp have raised awareness and more victims are seeking help.
Now there are eight detectives in the Calgary police Sex Crimes Unit.
The force hopes to increase that number to 12 before the end of the year.
Police say they are dealing with more assaults.
The cases are also becoming more complex to investigate if they include DNA evidence and gathering data from the Internet and social media.
Chaffin said the increased demand must be dealt with.
“It’s difficult to say if there is more volume or just more people reporting,” Chaffin said Wednesday. “End of the day, it ends up being more volume. It’s more important for us to know what Calgarians are dealing with.”
Danielle Aubery, CEO of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, said the number of calls for help is way up.
Aubery said she never thought she would see such a trend.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do and I am really looking at the points of backlash that I am seeing around this,” she said.
“I hope that we can come through that and I hope that we can change the social norms around this issue and create more safety for people to come forward.”
Aubery said adding more detectives is long overdue.
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