Safer Internet Day an occasion to share important message about child protection
All parents, caregivers and educators must play their part in keeping young children safe from child exploitation online, the Queensland Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan has said today, in acknowledgement of Safer Internet Day 2019.
Minister Ryan said Safer Internet Day was about raising awareness amongst parents, caregivers, educators and anyone in the community who has the important job of caring for, raising or educating a child.
Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, Head of Operations for the Queensland State Crime Command’s Argos team said that many crimes of exploitation started with a stranger requesting images or videos from a child online, compelling educators, especially those caring for children who have access to devices, such as in some OSHC programs, to practice caution.
“A simple friend request on an app that facilitates communication can lead to a child chatting to strangers, the production and distribution of images and potentially, the child meeting up with their new ‘friend’,” Detective Inspector Rouse said.
Calling for greater insight from parents and educators, Detective Inspector Rouse said that despite the best efforts of his team on the front line, to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children, the team are encountering “spiralling volumes of self-produced images and videos in our digital seizures”.
“The investigators within Queensland Police Service’s Argos and child protection officers across the state do a job not many of us could. They investigate internet facilitated crimes against children,” Mr Ryan said. “It is because of their sheer hard work and dedication that so many children across the world have been removed from harm and saved from the hands of those who commit these most horrible acts”