It is often said that the world is becoming a much smaller place. The rapid advances in technology over the past several years now require agencies and departments at all levels and in every country to swiftly adapt their investigative strategies and techniques to collectively enhance their global reach to address all manners of transnational crime. The reality of 21st century law enforcement is that even crimes that were historically considered to be primarily a local issue now have the potential to expand into multi-jurisdictional—sometimes transnational—criminal investigations.
While technological advancements have resulted in an overall net positive change for the whole of society, all too often these changes have been co-opted by criminals for a variety of illicit purposes. For example, enhanced technological and logistical developments in the travel industry make it easier than ever before for a convicted child sex offender to fly across the world and potentially abuse a child in another country, a crime known as child sex tourism. To combat this growing crime, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has developed the Angel Watch Center. Through the recent enactment of legislation, HSI and its law enforcement partners have been granted greater ability and resources to more effectively deter and prevent this transnational crime that has proportionally grown as society has increasingly become one global community.
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The article is written by Peter T. Edge, Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement