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News

Mobile phone monitor helps capture child predators

EAgency : 04 December, 2008  (Application Story)
40 child sex offence suspects arrested in Colorado following campaign using My Mobile Watchdog cell phone monitoring software from eAgency
eAgency, the developer of My Mobile Watchdog for monitoring and safeguarding kids' cell phone activity, has announced that a Colorado law enforcement agency used the product to successfully capture 40 child predators over just 89 days of investigation—an average of one predator every two days of work.

According to Mike Harris, senior investigator in the Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations (CSOII) Unit of the Jefferson County, Colorado, District Attorney's Office, several of the cases required only two to three hours of My Mobile Watchdog use to gather the necessary evidence. Jefferson County investigators are among the heaviest law enforcement users of the software that monitors and tracks cell phone threats, contacts and activities of children.

My Mobile Watchdog lowers the cost of tracking and prosecuting child predators. In the case of one offender, Harris reported documenting 358 text messages in the first week of contact; other arrests, which took place over a seven-month period from April to October, 2008, took place within hours of the offenders' first violations.

Overall, My Mobile Watchdog gave Jefferson County investigators the hard evidence necessary to significantly improve enforcement efforts and conviction rates. Of the 40 arrests, 38 were of individuals with no known prior record for sex offences, and five of the 40 pled guilty—a record rate for guilty pleas within the unit.
"Predators are smart. Law enforcement has to not only be smarter, but also be able to prove it in court," commented Harris. "After investigating Internet child predators for over twelve years, I've experienced just how difficult—and heartbreaking—it can be to the victims when we can't keep up with these criminals. My Mobile Watchdog actually lets us walk into court with very damning evidence of the crime."

Available over the Internet using a standard Web browser, My Mobile Watchdog's online management tools can monitor, and report to local law enforcement, any inappropriate contact with children. The technology monitors all inbound and outbound cell phone activity, immediately notifying authorities if a child receives an unwanted or suspicious call, email, text message or instant message.

Unusual activities are logged and archived to the My Mobile Watchdog account, allowing officers to view, assess and take action on questionable contacts. Investigators can then use My Mobile Watchdog to collect data and communications as evidence, with a clear chain of custody established to support the quick apprehension and efficient prosecution of criminals. The result is significantly lower cost, and reduced time and effort, for law enforcement.

"Now that the Internet is accessible via mobile devices, email, text messaging and instant messaging are real online safety threats to our children. Predatory behavior has grown dramatically over the past few years. In fact, the Crimes Against Children Research Center reports that 32% of online teens have been contacted online by a complete stranger and 7% of those teens reported experiencing disturbing stranger contact," said Bob Lotter, CEO of eAgency. "Because most child predators make initial contact with their targets online and quickly move to the cell phone as a primary means of communications to arrange a face-to-face meeting, our technology can address the issue completely. My Mobile Watchdog flags suspicious or unauthorized contact before a crime can happen, keeping children safer."

Harris, who also serves as supervisor of the Jefferson County D.A. office's CSOII Unit, has developed a protocol for use of My Mobile Watchdog as a law enforcement tool. Public safety agencies can obtain a free copy.
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