Detectives have arrested 22 people across Australia in relation to child sex offences as part of Operation Soutien.
Detectives have arrested 22 people across Australia in relation to child sex offences as part of Operation Soutien.

Kingaroy man arrested as part of national pedophile bust

A KINGAROY man was one of 22 alleged perpetrators arrested with 56 offences as part of a national pedophile-busting unit.

The 34-year-old factory worker from Kingaroy was one of six people facing 11 online child sex offences in Queensland.

He was arrested on November 10 and was charged with one count of using a carriage service to access child abuse material and two counts of possessing child exploitation material.

The Kingaroy man is due to appear in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court on December 16.

Queensland Police Service detectives targeted high-threat online child sex offenders as part of the Australia-wide month of action codenamed 'Operation Soutien'.

Officers from the State Crime Command's Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Unit, Argos and local Child Protection and Investigation Units executed nine search warrants across Queensland.

This led to the arrest of a 38-year-old male senior school teacher from a Rockhampton school who was charged with possessing and distributing child exploitation material.

Other Queensland arrests included a 31-year-old man from Brisbane, a 41-year-old Tingalpa man, a 64-year-old Labrador man and a 32-year-old Harristown man.

Two more Queenslanders were charged in relation to other child sex offences, including a Toowoomba chef who lived near a childcare centre.

Material seized during the multiple search warrants will be examined in an effort to identify child victims as part of investigations under the national child protection strategy.

Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group Detective Superintendent Denzil Clark said the successful national operation highlighted the benefits of working in collaboration with interstate and international counterparts.

"Disturbingly, we know child sex offenders will go to extraordinary lengths to exploit children and through upskilling and collaborating with interstate and international counterparts we can ensure our investigators are best placed to track them down," he said.

Superintendent Clark said the operation was a timely reminder to all parents to be vigilant with electronic devices used by their children, and to ensure they monitor their children's online activities.

"Particularly over the school holiday period, supervision for children is critical in preventing self-produced child exploitation material and children being exploited online," he said.

Operation Soutien, which started in early November, was the first national operation co-ordinated by the ACCCE, involving investigators from state and territory police working together.

The operation followed on from three days of intensive, specialist training conducted by the US-based Child Rescue Coalition at Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation facility in Brisbane.

Child Rescue Coalition director Glen Pounder said they were proud to work with the Australian law enforcements to remove those who provided the greatest risk to children.

"Training in specialist child protection systems, in the hands of law enforcement, makes it possible to identify and arrest those who are connected with child sex abuse," he said.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child sexual exploitation and abuse are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 

Ways to keep your child and family safe:

1. Supervise -supervision for young children is critical in preventing self-produced child exploitation material and online grooming.

2. Be comfortable sharing -make sure your child feels comfortable in talking to you or another trusted adult about issues they might be experiencing online.

3. Seek help -it is never too late to seek support or help, even years down the track.

For more tips visit thinkuknow.org.au