07/22/2015 04:45 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:59 EDT

Amount Of Child Porn Being Shared In B.C. Is 'Disturbing': Study

VANCOUVER - A new study has revealed a disturbing amount of child pornography is being distributed online in British Columbia.

A Stats Canada crime report released Wednesday shows more than 1,200 individual cases of sexual-abuse images were exchanged over the Internet over a six-month period last year.

The police unit that investigates child exploitation in B.C. says this project was the first of its kind in the province and establishes a baseline.

Investigators say it's impossible to know at this point whether the issue is getting better or worse.

RCMP spokesman Ed Boettcher says a single case of child victimization is too many and that more than a thousand over that time is tragic.

He says police would ensure those responsible are held to account.

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