Man charged with child abuse material offences - Armidale

Wednesday, 04 January 2023 03:33:34 PM

Sex Crimes Squad detectives have charged a man following an investigation into the alleged possession of child abuse material.

Last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit began investigating a man allegedly utilising a peer-to-peer file sharing program.

Police will allege in court the man shared a number of files deemed to be child abuse material.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives – with the assistance of officers attached to New England Police District – executed a Commonwealth search warrant at an Armidale property about 8am today (Wednesday 4 January 2023), where they arrested a 38-year-old man.

A number of items were seized, including a computer and other electronic devices, which will undergo further forensic examination.

He was taken to Armidale Police Station and charged with two counts of possess child abuse material, and one count each of use carriage service to access child abuse material, and person possesses bestiality material.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Armidale Local Court on Monday 6 February 2023.

With children spending an increasing amount of time online, particularly during school holidays, police are encouraging parents to remain vigilant and monitor their child’s online presence, including what websites they are visiting, and who they may be speaking with.

State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty, said parents and carers need to speak to young people about the dangers associated with online activity, and ensure they feel comfortable to tell an adult if something’s not right.

“If you or your child ever come across any concerning material online, we would encourage you to contact local police immediately,” Det Supt Jayne Doherty said.

“We have specialist officers that investigate the sexual exploitation of children online and via telecommunication systems, and we can only help if the incidents are reported.”

Safe internet use – tips for parents and carers:

  • Monitor how much time your child spends on the internet, what websites they are visiting and who they may be speaking to,
  • Ensure you are able to access your child's email and social media accounts and randomly check the contents,
  • Remind children to never send pictures of themselves to anyone they don't know and never place a full profile and picture anywhere on the internet,
  • Remind children to never give out personal information, including full name, home address, phone number or school, over the internet, and
  • Let your children know they can tell parents or another responsible adult about any contact that makes them feel uncomfortable

More information and educational packages for parents and children are available from ThinkUKnow, a multi-agency program designed to educate and promote cyber safety: https://www.thinkuknow.org.au

Additional information can be accessed via the eSafety website: https://www.esafety.gov.au/

The Sex Crimes Squad comprises a number of investigative teams who lead investigations into adult sex offenders, including the Child Exploitation Internet Unit, Child Protection Register, and Extended Supervision Order teams.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Anyone with information about the dissemination of child abuse material online is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.