New App Hopes to Catch Child Predators - 8 News NOW

New App Hopes to Catch Child Predators

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LAS VEGAS -- Federal agencies are turning to new technology to catch dangerous predators and to rescue children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

You can help them, and all it takes is your smart phone.

The app by U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement is called the Operation Predator app. ICE hopes the app will generate leads in cases where children are sexually abused.

It features pictures and information on known fugitives who should be behind bars, but are on the loose, capable of preying on an innocent child or teen.

The public can also give anonymous tips, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to turn in someone who may be committing a sex crime.

The app will be of particular use to agents here in southern Nevada.

"Unfortunately, Las Vegas is known for sex trafficking, and sometimes, individuals will target children, or minors, to get them involved in sex trafficking, especially runaways," assistant special agent in charge with Homeland Security Investigations Michael Harris said.

The app is part of the government's initiative to stop internet child pornographers, sex offenders, sex traffickers, and those who travel overseas for sex with minors.

According to the Las Vegas Homeland Security Investigations field office, during fiscal year 2012, nationwide there have been 1,655 child predators arrested. So far this fiscal year, the department has made 1,900 arrests.

The department identified or rescued 292 victims as a result of child pornography investigations.

The app also allows people to receive alerts on their phones about wanted predators.

Right now, the iPhone app is ready first, but the department says other smart phone brands will come along soon. For now, you can download the app from the App Store or iTunes.

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