AFP and TASPOL launch JACET to combat child exploitation

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Tasmania Police.

Tasmania’s efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of children across the state has been bolstered, thanks to the official launch of the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) today in Hobart.

The AFP and Tasmania Police (TASPOL) this morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise the new agreement, signifying a boost in resources to help identify, target and prosecute predators.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz said the new partnership, which has also rolled out in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) today, was a major boost for law enforcement agencies working tirelessly to protect Australian children.

“We know in order to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute child sex offenders, that we must work together,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.

“The unveiling of the new JACET in Tasmania and in the ACT means we have a greater coordinated investigative response in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for young people in our community.”

Assistant Commissioner Platz said the AFP and State and Territory JACETs are working towards the greater goal of preventing and stamping out the sexual exploitation of children, complementing the efforts of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), which is AFP-led and established in July 2018.

“This JACET model will see our Federal and State and Territory colleagues work side-by-side to undertake joint investigations, and share intelligence specific to their jurisdiction.

“The establishment of the JACETs means we can now accelerate the way information is received from domestic and international agencies and bring more child sex offenders before the courts, to ultimately protect Australian children,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said. 

Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Jonathan Higgins said:

“The JACET model enhances our ability to work with partner agencies nationally and internationally to investigate and counter child exploitation in our community.”

ACT Policing’s Deputy Chief Police Officer Michael Chew said establishing a JACET in the ACT is a win for the community.

“Unfortunately there are individuals in our community who physically or virtually harm children. Placing dedicated AFP and ACT Policing resources in this space will assist in identifying these criminals and placing them before a court.” 

The JACET model is achieved by co-locating AFP officers with State and Territory police Sex Crime Commands, or equivalent, which operate based on information provided by the ACCCE. The ACCCE provides a specialist capability in direct support of investigative agencies in Australia.

The signing of today’s JACET MoU in Tasmania finalises the roll-out of the initiative in every State and Territory across the country.

Note to media: USE OF TERM ‘CHILD EXPLOITATION’, NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

Use of the phrase “child pornography” 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 up images of children posing in ‘provocative’ positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph captures an actual situation where a child has been abused. This is not “pornography”.

Media enquiries

AFP National Media: (02) 5126 9297
Tasmania Police Media: (03) 6173 2867

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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