Canberra Man Charged With Online Child Grooming

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16th December 2009, 12:38pm - Views: 604
16 December 2009



Media Release

Canberra man charged with online child
grooming
A 58-year-old McKellar man will appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court this
morning after being charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for
grooming of a person under 16 years.
The investigation began when the father of a 12-year-old girl contacted the AFP
concerned about conversations occurring online between his daughter and
another online user, which led to the AFP taking over the girl's online identity.
The man arranged to meet the covert online investigator yesterday
afternoon where he was arrested by the AFP Child Protection Operations
Team.
It will be alleged in court that the man groomed a child over the internet with
the intent of engaging in sexual activity.
Members of the AFP's Child Protection Operations team executed search
warrants at the man's residence and his vehicle yesterday.
National Manager High Tech Crime Operations, Neil Gaughan said this is a
perfect example of the AFP's dedication to keeping children safe, both in the
real world and the online world.
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said the victim's father had done the right
thing by reporting the matter to the AFP.
"There is an element of fear of the unknown amongst adults when it comes to
cyber safety and the information and communication technologies young
people are using today. This arrest serves as an important reminder to parents,
teachers and carers over the school holidays to know what children in your care
are doing online.
"With the increased purchase of computers and mobile technologies in the lead
up to Christmas it is important to understand the internet is a fun place where
young people can interact, but it also has many hidden threats and your child
may be chatting to people who may not be who they say they are. Knowing
the capability and connectivity of mobiles and other devices is important prior
to purchase.
"Every time an Australian child logs onto the internet to use instant messaging
or social networking sites, they and their parents and teachers need to be
aware of some of the negative aspects.



Visit our website at www.afp.gov.au for all the latest information on the Australian
Federal Police



"Parents should be aware that the use of internet technology allows virtual
strangers to obtain large amounts of personal information relating to personal
activity and information including photos and video. Collection of this personal
information allows potential predators to build profiles and use many methods
to target victims, including information obtained from email, instant
messaging, SMS and blogs."
The AFP, in partnership with Microsoft, has implemented the ThinkUKnow
program which is an important educational tool for parents, teachers and
carers to protect young Australians online.
"By helping to start a dialogue between parents and children, we hope that
young people will be more confident going to their parents when they have a
problem, and that their parents will better understand how to deal with online
issues," Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.
Any parent, carer or teacher interested in organising a ThinkUKnow
presentation at their local school can visit www.thinkuknow.org.au. This
website also offers free downloadable resources including fact sheets,
promotional posters and an e-newsletter.
Assistant Commissioner Gaughan reinforced that the AFP takes the protection
of children very seriously and will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to catch
those that commit crimes against children.
The man was charged with use a carriage service to procure persons
under 16 years, section 474.26(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
and use a carriage service to groom persons under 16 years, section
474.27(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for these offences is 15 years imprisonment.
Media enquiries
AFP National Media Team
Phone: (02) 6275 7100





Visit our website at www.afp.gov.au for all the latest information on the Australian
Federal Police



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