Child sex crimes doubling in Phenix City

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - The Russell County Child Advocacy Center is teaming up with the Phenix City Police Department to fight against sex crimes in the area.

Over the last couple of years, police say there have been almost 500 reported sex offenses in the Russell County – Phenix City area.

The Child Advocacy Center reports the increase in children using technology has played a role in the rise of crimes related to children. News Leader 9's Parker Branton spoke with the executive director for the center on how these crimes are being diagnosed.

"When we look at our stats we average anywhere from 10-12 typically in a given month if we have a high month it's about 15-16 this month alone we are at 29," says Executive Director of the Russell County Child Advocacy Center Lynn Hammock. "Over the last couple of months, it continues to increase…[people] think nothing is going to happen to me it's going to be someone else. I think that's our mentality, but it's hitting home and people don't realize it's happening in their own backyards."

"These things are connecting more and more people and that's for the better but that also means bad guys have additional avenues to make connection with your children," says Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith.

The Phenix City Police Department is giving funding to the Russell County Child Advocacy Center to create handouts with information on keeping children safe while using technology along with making appearances at schools and other organizations to educate the public.

For the national sexual assault hotline click here.

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