New smartphone app allows public to help catch child predators

New smartphone app allows public to help catch child predators

Posted:
The federal government has released a new smartphone app designed to make it easier for the public to help catch child predators. The federal government has released a new smartphone app designed to make it easier for the public to help catch child predators.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) - The federal government has released a new smartphone app designed to make it easier for the public to help catch child predators.

The app, called "Operation Predator," can be downloaded right to your smartphone.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigates hundreds if not thousands of child sex crimes a year.

"In child exploitation investigations we're investigating crimes where a child is actively being abused in many instances and by getting that information very quickly to law enforcement it enables us to go out and maybe make an arrest we might not have been able to make as quickly as we like," said Patrick Redling with the Child Exploitation Investigations Unit.

ICE hopes this new app will help do just that.

"On the app there is actually an option to submit a tip to our ICE tip line," said ICE Public Affairs Officer Brian Hale.

The app gives you the option of submitting an anonymous tip to ICE either by talking to someone directly or filling out a from right from the app.    

It will also send you alerts about wanted predators.

"We recognize that a lot of people get their information through mobile devices and we wanted to be able to reach the public in that way," said Hale.

You can also forward those alerts to your friends and family through email, Facebook and other social media.

"This will help us get the word out to as many people as possible to help us locate possible suspect," said Redling.

"At the end of the day we want to get the bad guys and at the end of the day if this app helps get us a tip that leads to a child predator being taken off the street to protect our children then it's going to be well worth the effort," said Hale.

ICE hopes the public will now do its part and download the free app.

The app is available for download on iPhones only right now, but they plan to expand it to other smartphones in the near future.

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