National Child Protection Week
National Child Protection Week (NCPW) is a national campaign which this year runs from Sunday 3 September through to Saturday 9 September 2023 highlighting to the community that every child should be able to grow up safe.
The WA Police Force has several units whose sole focus is on protecting children from perpetrators. These units include the Child Abuse Squad, Child Assessment and Interview Team, and Child Exploitation Operations. They are staffed by dedicated people including specialist detectives, intelligence analysts and a victim identification specialist.
The Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET) which comprises of officers from the WA Police Force and Australian Federal Police are a team within Child Exploitation Operations.
To date in 2023, these dedicated officers have conducted 1355 investigations, executed 168 search warrants which have resulted in 232 offenders being charged with 2196 offences.
Our victim identification specialist has identified 11 child victims after scouring through thousands of images and videos seized during investigations. Children from Perth, Regional WA, United Kingdom and United States of America have been rescued from harm this year through these identifications.
During investigations conducted by the Child Exploitation Operations, offenders from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Africa were identified. This information was conveyed to the relevant country’s Law Enforcement Agency who were then able to prosecute them.
During one such investigation, a Victim Identification Specialist with the WA Police Child Exploitation Operations was tasked with identifying a female child aged between two and five years of age after 24 images of her were located on electronic devices seized as part of an investigation into child exploitation material related offences in 2022.
The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) Victim Identification Team were consulted and the images were compared against images stored on the Interpol International Child Sexual Exploitation Database (ICSE) and the Australian Victim Identification Database (AVID).During these consultations, 32 additional images of the child were located relating to an unsolved series dating back to 2011.
Between 2017 and 2019, four other international law enforcement agencies attempted to identify the child.
The Victim Identification Specialist from Child Exploitation Operations continued with his investigation combing through various databases and utilising other tools in the identification process. As a result of his dedicated work, he was able to identify the child was born in 2009 and was living in Moscow, Russia.
This information has been submitted to the relevant law enforcement agencies and Interpol will confirm the identification and hopefully save this young girl from further abuse.
Although the internet has no boundaries, working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners throughout the world allows us to target those offenders who want to prey on some of the most vulnerable people in our community, our children.
If you offend against the most vulnerable members of our community, we will work with our partners anywhere in the world to bring you to justice.
Anyone with any information relating to the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via crimestopperswa.com.au.
Information can also be reported via the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at accce.gov.au/report.