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‘We’ve got to protect our children’: Exploitation reports almost double

Police forces across Australia are this week urging parents and carers to talk to their kids about online safety.

Last week, in the lead up to the 30th annual National Child Protection Week, officers from NSW’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) made three separate arrests over alleged online grooming offences detected across Sydney and the state’s north.

Since January this year, the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad has arrested more than 560 people and laid more than 2800 charges, following investigations into child sexual assaults, serious physical abuse, extreme cases of neglect, and online grooming.

Ray Hadley, a long-time ambassador of child protection organisation Bravehearts, told listeners National Child Protection Week is dear to his heart.

“We’ve got to protect our children, they’re our most precious asset.

“I do despair from time to time … about the sentencing we see of pedophiles in Queensland, but that doesn’t detract from the great work … police do … in tracking down these dreadful people.”

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw told Ray Australia is a large consumer market of child abuse material.

“From July last year to this year June, we’ve had 21,000 reports of child sexual exploitation … that’s almost a 50 per cent increase [since the previous year].

“The internet is not such a safe place. It’s a breeding ground, sadly, for a lot of these online predators.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Parents and carers are encouraged to go to www.thinkuknow.org.au and www.accce.gov.au to access internet safety resources.

 

Image: Getty

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