A 35-year-old Central West man has been charged with a child exploitation offence.
The charges stemmed from an investigation by the New South Wales Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, which comprises of members from the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police Force.
On February 13, AFP Child Protection Operations received information from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children about an online user in Australia allegedly engaging in sexualised chats and sharing child exploitation material via a social media platform.
On Wednesday, officers from the NSW-JACET and AFP Digital Forensics executed a search warrant at a residence in Parkes, where a mobile device, laptop and children’s clothing were seized.
The AFP and its partners will continue to aggressively pursue offenders who exploit children and this arrest should serve as a warning to those who think they can get away with it.Australian Federal Police Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar
A 35-year-old man was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of producing child pornography material for use through a carriage service, contrary to section 474.20 of the Criminal Code 1995.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.
AFP Detective Sergeant Jarryd Dunbar said the arrest is a great example of the strong working relationship that allows law enforcement, social media platforms, and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to work quickly and cohesively to remove children from harm.
“The AFP and its partners will continue to aggressively pursue offenders who exploit children and this arrest should serve as a warning to those who think they can get away with it," he said.
"Our presence in the online environment is growing and it’s only a matter of time before we come knocking on their door."
NSW Police’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit Manager, Detective Acting Inspector Shelley Johns, said it is imperative that parents and carers speak with kids about online activity.
“Young people need to be careful about the type of information they provide to people they only know online – especially personal or private details – any app, game, or social media platform that allows them to be in contact with people they don’t know can put them at risk of harm," she said.
The man has been refused bail to appear at Parkes Local Court via audio visual link on Thursday.
Enquiries into this matter remain ongoing.
Members of the public who have any information about people involved in child exploitation material are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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