01 February 2024, 5:14pm
WA man charged with allegedly possessing thousands of files of child abuse material
This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force.
A man has appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court today (1 February, 2024) charged with possessing child abuse material, after police allegedly found almost 6000 videos and photos depicting child abuse on his phone.
The Western Australian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team charged the man, 23, in December, 2023, after investigating a report from NSW Police about people sharing child abuse material online.
WA JACET executed a search warrant at the man’s home in WA’s South-West region and allegedly found the illegal videos and images on a mobile phone.
The device has been seized for further forensic examination.
AFP Detective acting Inspector Karen Addiscott said children who were sexually abused were impacted every time images or videos of the crimes were accessed and shared online.
“People who procure and access child abuse material create the demand for others to physically hurt children,” Detective acting Inspector Addiscott said.
“These are not just images or videos on a screen, they show a real child being abused and subjected to a situation that no child should ever experience.
“The AFP is working tireless with partners in Australia and around the world to protect children and ensure anyone involved in their harm is identified and prosecuted.”
The man has been charged with possessing child abuse material accessed or obtained using a carriage service, contrary to section 474.22A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
The maximum penalty for the offences is 15 years' imprisonment.
He first appeared in court on 20 December, 2023. He appeared in court today and the matter has been adjourned until 29 February, 2024.
The AFP and its partners are committed to stopping child exploitation and abuse and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is driving a collaborative national approach to combatting child abuse.
The ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into online child sexual exploitation and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.
Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse are urged to contact the ACCCE. If you know abuse is happening right now or a child is at risk, call police immediately on 000.
If you or someone you know is impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, support services are available.
Research conducted by the ACCCE in 2020 revealed only about half of parents talked to their children about online safety. Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protect children online can be found on the ThinkUKnow website, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.
For more information on the role of the ACCCE, what is online child sexual exploitation and how to report it visit the ACCCE website.
Note to media
Use of term 'CHILD ABUSE' MATERIAL not ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’
The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.
Use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:
- indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
- conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.
Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.