Wed, 30 Nov 2022

WA man charged with allegedly possessing child exploitation material

Australian Federal Police
22 Nov 2022, 16:04 GMT+10

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

A Perth man, 65, is expected to face Perth Magistrates Court today (22 November, 2022) charged with online child abuse offences.

The man was charged as a part of a joint AFP and WA Police child protection operation that resulted in criminal charges against men for multiple child abuse offences.

Investigators from AFP Operation Tamworth/WA Police Operation Palomar allegedly identified the man after receiving a report from the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an individual in Western Australia uploading child abuse material to an online forum.

The Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (WA JACET), comprising AFP and WA Police officers, executed a search warrant on 2 September, 2022, at the man's Mount Hawthorn home, where officers seized a mobile phone and tablet that allegedly contained child abuse material.

WA JACET investigators charged the man on 2 November, 2022, and issued him with a summons to appear in court on 22 November, 2022.

AFP Acting Superintendent Andrea Coleman said the AFP worked closely with its counterparts around Australia and internationally to combat the exploitation and abuse of children.

"Our common goal is to protect children, wherever they live, and ensure anyone who tries to harm them is identified and brought before the courts," A/Supt Coleman said.

"The AFP works tirelessly with the WA Police Force and our domestic and international partners to keep children safe and prosecute anyone who preys on them."

The man was charged with:

Two counts of possessing child exploitation material, contrary to section 220 of the Criminal Code 1913 (WA).

The maximum penalty for this offence is seven 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.

Note to media:

Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL NOT 'CHILD PORNOGRAPHY'

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material - the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

Media enquiries:

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297

WA Police Force Media: (08) 9222 1011

Subscribe and receive email alerts (link: https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases) when new media releases are published.

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