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Six Men Charged with Child Exploitation Amid Child Protection Week | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Specialist child safety detectives from Argos alongside officers from multiple Child Protection and Investigation Units have charged six men with more than 100 child sex offences following extensive investigations in the lead up to Child Protection Week.

In the last week, an extensive series of proactive investigations connected to the work of covert Argos detectives, concerning the online possession and distribution of child exploitation material, has resulted in the arrest of six men, including:

  • On August 25, a 44-year-old Beerwah man was taken in to custody and charged with 62 child sex offences including the possession and making of child exploitation material, as well as the use of a carriage service to access and distribute child abuse material on various social media platforms. He is due to appear at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on October 20.
  • On August 28, police charged a 42-year-old Upper Kedron man with the possession of child exploitation material using an online platform and the use of a carriage service to access child abuse material, after executing a search warrant on August 28. He is due to reappear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 11.
  • On August 29, a 39-year-old Cairns man was taken in to police custody and charged with three child sex offences after investigations identified the man allegedly used an online platform to possess child exploitation material and using a carriage service to make child abuse material available. He is due to appear at Cairns Magistrates Court on September 18.
  • On August 30, a 22-year-old Albion man was charged with 14 child sex offences including the possession and making of child exploitation material as well as grooming a child under 16 years of age on a social media platform and exposing them to indecent matter. He appeared at Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 31 where he was remanded in custody. He is due to reappear on October 16.
  • On August 30, police also charged a 26-year-old Carina man with five child sex offences including the use of the internet to procure a child under 16. It will be alleged the man was attempting to meet a 14-year-old for the purpose of sexual exploitation. He was further charged with the possession and making of child exploitation material. He appeared at Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 31 where he was remanded in custody to reappear on October 16.
  • On September 1, a sixth man, aged 46 from Fortitude Valley, was arrested and charged with 20 child sex offences including the possession and making of child exploitation material as well as the use of a carriage service to access and distribute child abuse material on various social media platforms. It will be alleged the man was involved in the administration of a hidden network on a child exploitation material website and was further charged with grooming offences of a child under the age of 16. Investigators will further allege that the man was filming and taking exploitive images of children in public toilets. He appeared at Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 1 and was remanded in custody until September 18.

The arrests coincide with this year’s Child Protection Week, which runs September 3 to 9, aiming to engage, educate and empower the community to understand the complexity of child abuse and neglect, and work together to prevent it.

This year’s theme is ‘where we start matters’, with more than 200 events to be held across Queensland.

Detective Acting Superintendent Glen Donaldson from the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s unit Argos, said everyone in the community plays an important role in caring for children.

“Every day our investigators, including officers dedicated to covert and protracted investigations and victim identification analysts, are working with law enforcement nationally and internationally to prevent, disrupt and investigate child sexual abuse,” Detective Acting Superintendent Donaldson said.

“These arrests are a reminder to parents and caregivers of the dangers of online predators and how crucial trusted loved ones are in teaching children about privacy, personal safety and that nothing is so awful they can’t speak to them about it.”

Between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, the Queensland Police Service (QPS) charged 1,587 people with 8,005 child sex offences.

QPS also:

  • Submitted 15,699 reports to the Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services regarding children identified as being at risk of significant harm.
  • Referred a further 2,329 referrals to Family and Child Connect where serious concerns were held by first response police regarding the wellbeing of a child, and police believed support to the child and family would prevent a report to Child Safety.
  • Performed 801 proactive home visits and compliance checks at the residence of Reportable Child Sex Offenders.
  • Conducted 635 digital device inspections on 465 unique Reportable Child Sex Offenders.
  • Youth Co-Responder Teams have conducted over 28,310 engagements, working proactively with young people and their families to engage them with supports and tackle issues that may contribute to re-offending.

As part of Child Protection Week, two Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers have been recognised for their work with young people on the front line.

“We are incredibly proud of Sergeant Stephen Armstrong-Ravula of PCYC Aurukun and his wife Norma who were presented with the Regional Program Award, and Senior Constable Tony Unicomb of Project Booyah who was presented with the Professional (Government) Award,” Detective Acting Superintendent Glen Donaldson said.

“These awards highlight the dedication that our frontline officers display every day in helping young people be the best version of themselves.”

The Queensland Police Service has recently been supported by legislative amendments which were assented to on Friday 1 September. The Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023 provides a number of amendments to support the work of Argos in targeting online child exploitation, whilst also ensuring that legislation which targets offenders who are convicted of sexual or other serious offences against children (reportable offenders) is keeping pace with changing offending patterns.

“Parents and caregivers seeking support in educating themselves about child protection are urged to visit resources available online,” Detective Acting Superintendent Glen Donaldson said.

“These resources can help you start a conversation about protective behaviours, what children can do when they feel unsafe and how to report matters where the wellbeing of a child is at risk.”

Resources:

  • The Queensland Child Protection Week website provides a comprehensive list of all events being held across Queensland.
  • The Queensland Police Service child protection website provides advice and information on a range of topics including links to other useful resources.
  • The Department of Child Safety, Seniors and Disability Services website provides a range of resources covering issues such as child abuse, child sexual abuse, preventing abuse and reporting abuse.
  • eSafety Commissioner a key partner of the QPS in enhancing online safety, with a comprehensive suite of information, resources and reporting tools to ensure children have a safe experience online.
  • Who’s chatting to your kids? Further QPS advice and information about reducing online risks for children.
  • Out of the dark #doiknowu a campaign by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) supported by the QPS and Department of Education, providing resources to help young people stay safe online.
  • Think U Know is a partnership between Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, Microsoft, State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It provides information on topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and what to do when something goes wrong.
Vision relates to the arrests of (chronologically) a 44-year-old Beerwah man, 42-year-old Upper Kedron man, 39-year-old Cairns man and a 22-year-old Albion man.
/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.

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