A NSW Central Coast man, 37, has been arrested and faced Wyong Local Court yesterday (12 July, 2022), charged with possessing child abuse material.
The investigation began in February this year, when the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States’ National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) relating to the upload of child abuse material to the Google Drive platform.
Officers from the AFP Eastern Command Child Protection Operations and the NSW Police Force executed a search warrant at the man’s Gwandalan home, where they seized two devices allegedly containing child abuse material.
AFP Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said this investigation was a timely reminder that those who commit these vile crimes are in the sights of the AFP.
“AFP Child Protection investigators work around the clock to combat the exploitation and abuse of children,” Det-Supt Bellis said.
“The community can be assured that those who are identified as taking part in these abhorrent crimes will not get away with it – we will find you.”
The man was arrested and charged with two counts of possessing child abuse material, contrary to section 91H of the Crimes Act 1990 (NSW).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 10 years’ imprisonment.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the ACCCE is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.accce.gov.au/report. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety.
An award-winning podcast launched last year by the ACCCE ‘Closing The Net’ is working to change that, showcasing that knowledge is power and that our only chance to help prevent this issue is if we bring a ‘whole-of-community’ response.
The podcast series offers valuable tips and advice on how to keep kids safe online. Listen to the Closing The Net podcast on your favourite streaming platform.
If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available at www.accce.gov.au/support.
Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at www.thinkuknow.org.au, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.