Police issue warning to keep children safe online

Police are urging people to be vigilant as the current rise in online activity and socialising brings increased risk to the safety of children.

Detectives from the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET), which is comprised of both Victoria Police and AFP investigators, have seen a marked increase in the sharing of child exploitation material via Peer 2 Peer (P2P) sites, including:

• From August 2019 to May 2020 there has been a 34 percent increase in Victorian IP addresses seen sharing Child Abuse Material (CAM) on P2P networks; and

• From August 2019 to May 2020 there has been a 99 percent increase in CAM files being shared on P2P networks in Victoria.

Intelligence received from a number of law enforcement agencies also indicates places like the darkweb are being inundated with new material being uploaded and shared.

Police are concerned that the increase could include the new production of child abuse material, both in Australia and internationally.

Detective Superintendent Jane Welsh said the safety of children remains a key focus for police.

“The reality is that the increase of online socialising and other activities we are currently experiencing due to the global pandemic provides a greater opportunity for online sexual offending and unwanted contact, particularly for children,” she said.

If you suspect a child is in immediate danger, contact Triple Zero (000) or your local police.

In April, the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) launched a seven-day challenge along with new online safety home learning resources for parents and carers.

Further information is available at www.accce.gov.au.

For more on this story see Page 2 of The Advertiser, Friday, July 3

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