This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force
A man,22, is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (30 September 2022) after the WA Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) charged him with multiple child abuse offences.
The man was arrested as part of AFP Operation Tamworth / WA Police Operation Palomar - a joint operation targeting offenders involved in the manufacture, distribution and possession of child exploitation material.
Police allegedly identified the WA man after investigating a report from the United States' National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an individual in Western Australia accessing child abuse material online.
WA JACET investigators, from both the AFP and WA Police Force, arrested the man after they executed a search warrant in the Perth suburb of Forrestfield on 24 August 2022. Police seized electronic devices, alleged to contain child abuse material from his residence, for further forensic examination.
Police will further allege in court that the Forrestfield man, 22, purchased self-produced child exploitation material from a Perth teenager.
AFP Detective Superintendent Graeme Marshall said the AFP worked closely with its counterparts in 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," he said.
"The AFP works tirelessly with the WA Police Force, domestic and international partners to keep children safe and will prosecute anyone who is preying on them."
The man has been charged with:
One count of possessing child abuse material obtained or accessed through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and One count of use a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22 (1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth), and One count of engaging in sexual activity using a carriage service with the child, being someone who was under 16 years of age, contrary to subsection 474.25A (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for each of these charges is 15 years' imprisonment.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation 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.
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