The Casper Police Department is bringing to light a disturbing criminal trend with the goal of better informing parents and guardians so that we can all work together to keep our children safe.
Recently, CPD has seen a rise in sexual grooming between adults and adolescents. Specifically, CPD has been investigating multiple cases in which an adult male contacts an adolescent female online using an array of social media apps. These conversations typically begin casually, but quickly move toward sexual subjects, the exchange of photos, and on occasion, an eventual request to meet in person. This timeline can take days or weeks to progress.
Casper Police Detectives work tirelessly investigating these cases; however, due to the complexity of the cases, they can be extremely difficult to prosecute in a court of law. The Department’s goal is always to present strong cases with appropriate recommended charges against alleged suspects to get justice for victims and protect any future victims. However, our goal is also to prevent this type of crime from happening in our community altogether. This is why we feel it necessary to speak publicly on this issue and ask parents and guardians to take additional measures to help keep our children safe.
If you are a parent or guardian of an adolescent, particularly those between the ages of 13-16, please consider reviewing your child’s phone or electronic communication devices regularly.
“Parents and guardians should create a safe plan of action with their children regarding transparent phone usage,” advised Casper Police Public Information Officer Rebekah Ladd. “At the least, know who your kids are talking to, and what apps they use to communicate. Search for hidden apps or those made to looks like different apps. Most importantly, encourage your children to speak with a trusted adult anytime they encounter an uncomfortable situation online.”
For more information on this subject nationally, and tips on how to keep your children safe, please visit missingkids.org. For resources on teaching kids about online safety and what to look for on devices, please visit casperpolice.org/keepkidssafeonline.
The Casper Police Department is dedicated to the protection and safety of our community through the highest standards of professionalism in police services.