Police encourge online safety conversation

Crime Stoppers and the eSafety Commissioner have joined forces to roll out a child protection campaign across Australia to combat child sexual abuse and unwanted contact online.

The campaign aims to help parents and carers understand the warning signs of unwanted contact, protect their child’s privacy online, and to report suspicious activity.

In supporting the campaign, police are taking the opportunity to remind parents and carers they play a crucial role in keeping children safe when they are online. Risks online include a child being exposed to harmful content or being targeted by an online predator.

While online sexual offending can come in many forms, predators are increasingly gaining access to children online through popular apps, games and social media sites. In line with global trends, Queensland Police investigations do show that there is a significant prevalence of self-produced child exploitation material online.

Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark from the Child Abuse and Sexual Crimes Group said that while Internet-connected devices provide many benefits to children at this time of social distancing, parents and caregivers should take active and ongoing measures around online safety.

“We cannot underestimate the valuable contribution the community plays in helping us stop, solve and prevent these types of child abuse crimes,” Detective Superintendent Clark said.

“We want parents and carers to be vigilant to the dangers facing their children online, as supervision is key to prevention as is ongoing communication with children about how to stay safe online.

“Now is the time for parents and carers to be considering where in the house their children are allowed to use internet-connected devices and speaking with children about risky behaviours including the dangers of having online ‘friends’ they have never met face-to-face.”

There are practical resources available through this national campaign to help parents and carers have these much-needed conversations with their children. These resources are available at: www.esafety.gov.au and www.crimestoppers.com.au

If you see something that isn’t right, we ask that you:

  • Screenshot the evidence
  • Block the person
  • Report to eSafety
  • Report to police

Remember that you can make a confidential report about actual or suspected criminal information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestoppers.com.au

If you feel you are in immediate danger, contact police on Triple Zero (000).

Click here to learn more about child sexual abuse material, unwanted online contact and tips to be smart online.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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