Blacktown Man Arrested Over Child Exploitation

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6th October 2009, 11:37am - Views: 338
6 October 2009



Media Release

Blacktown man arrested over child exploitation


A 47-year-old Blacktown man is to appear in Downing Centre Local Court today
after being charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) with child
exploitation offences.
The investigation began in April 2009, when the AFP received a referral from
the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children based in the United
States.
It will be alleged the man downloaded child exploitation material several times
in August 2009.
During the investigation, AFP agents from High Tech Crime Operations (HTCO)
assumed the identity of a teenage girl, who had previously been contacted by
the offender, which resulted in evidence of a grooming offence being obtained.
On 10 September 2009, the AFP executed a search warrant on the man's
residential address where various computer and mobile phone devices,
allegedly containing child abuse material, were located and seized.
AFP agents charged the man with using a carriage service to access child
pornography material contrary to Section 474.19(1) of the Criminal Code
Act 1995 and using a carriage service to groom persons under 16 years of age,
contrary to section 474.27 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 12 years imprisonment.
In March 2009 the AFP launched a pilot program designed to help Australia's
children stay safe online. ThinkUKnow, a joint initiative between the AFP and
Microsoft, is an internet safety program designed to help teachers, carers and
parents educate children about safety and encourage them to think before they
act online.
Participants learn about the types of things young people are doing online, and
provide them with valuable strategies on how to minimise risks and address
issues as they arise.
Commander Karl Kent, Acting National Manager HTCO appealed to both
parents and children to consider the risks and take appropriate precautions
when using the Internet.
"There are both threats and opportunities on the Internet and unfortunately,
predatory behaviour by those seeking to sexually exploit children is one of the
threats," Commander Kent said.

Visit our website at www.afp.gov.au for all the latest information on the Australian
Federal Police



"Children and young people should under no circumstances transmit
inappropriate images of themselves online or via mobile phone - the risk is just
too great.
"Once the image or video is sent, you have no control over where it goes or
who has access to it."
Grooming occurs when an offender deliberately seeks to build a rapport with a
child or young person. There is a spiral effect - the young person is made to
feel special, then there is an endeavour to form a bond with the child.
Ultimately the offender will try and convince the child that there is a real
relationship and, for example, that they should meet. It is during such
meetings that the situation escalates to very serious criminality.
"Prosecutions for these types of offences are not common, although that may
be due to a degree of under-reporting. By nature, grooming implies a
continued pattern of predatory behaviour," Commander Kent said.
For more information on protecting children online go to
www.thinkuknow.org.au
Media enquiries
AFP National Media Team
Phone: (02) 6275 7100






Visit our website at www.afp.gov.au for all the latest information on the Australian
Federal Police



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