WA man, 35, charged with allegedly accessing child abuse material online

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police Force

A 35-year-old man is expected to face Perth Magistrate's Court today (Friday, 5 November 2021) charged by the Western Australia Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team with allegedly accessing child abuse material online.

The Northbridge man was charged on 21 October (2021) after officers searched his home and allegedly found child abuse material on a mobile phone located in the man's pocket.

The arrest was the result of an investigation launched after the Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) received a report from the United States.

The report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) identified an online user based in Australia uploading child abuse material to a Google platform.

Investigators from WA JACET, which comprises AFP and WA Police officers, allegedly linked the Northbridge man to the account.

The man's mobile phone was seized and will be subject to further forensic examination.

Police charged him with using a carriage service to access child abuse material, contrary to section 474.22(1) (i) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years' imprisonment.

AFP Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman said the AFP and its partners are committed to protecting children, wherever they live.

"Anyone who views this material is participating in the harming of a child, and helping to prop up a vile industry that will abuse more children to satisfy the demand," she said.

The Brisbane-based ACCCE brings together specialist expertise and skills in a central hub, supporting investigations into child sexual abuse and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online.

If you or someone you know are impacted by child sexual abuse and online exploitation there are support services available.

Advice and support for parents and carers about how they can help protection children online can be found at ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent online child sexual exploitation.

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.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

If it doesn't add up, speak up. Call the National Security Hotline - 1800 123 400.

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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