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05 July 2024, 6:00pm
Media Release

WA man charged with online child abuse material offences

This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force

The Western Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET) has charged a Perth man for allegedly possessing and accessing child abuse material.

The man, 34, was due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court today (5 July, 2024).

The investigation began 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) about an online user uploading child abuse material to an online platform.

A search warrant was executed at the man’s Wanneroo home yesterday (4 July, 2024), with investigators allegedly finding child abuse material on electronic devices. The devices will be subject to further forensic examination.

AFP Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman said the arrest highlighted how closely police around the world worked together to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.  

“Unfortunately, online child abuse material is not rare, and is a focus for the AFP and other law enforcement agencies,” she said.

“Our message to online offenders has not changed - if you procure, access and transmit child abuse material, you will be found, arrested and prosecuted.

“This is not a victimless crime. Children are not commodities to be used for the abhorrent gratification of sexual predators.

“I’d like to thank the hardworking men and women of the AFP who are on the frontline working tirelessly to protect our children.”

The man was charged with:

  • Two counts of possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and
  • Two counts of using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for the offences is 15 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 are urged to contact the ACCCE. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.

If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.

Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found at the ThinkUKnow website, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit the ACCCE website.

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