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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

    New taskforce to tackle child exploitation material


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services
    The Honourable Jo-Ann Miller

    Tuesday, November 10, 2015

    New taskforce to tackle child exploitation material

    A new Queensland Police Service (QPS) taskforce to crack down on the online sharing of child exploitation material will be set up following a Palaszczuk Government investment of $3.2 million.

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Taskforce Orion would build on the existing work of the QPS to arrest and charge those who share and possess child exploitation material in Queensland.

    “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that our police work incredibly hard in all areas of the state to keep our children safe,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

    “The Commission of Inquiry into Organised Crime highlighted a number of challenges police face when investigating the sharing of child exploitation material online. We’re providing an extra $3.2 million to the QPS to ensure they’re well-resourced to tackle these challenges head on.

    Premier Palaszczuk said a state-wide blitz on child exploitation material would be Taskforce Orion’s first job.

    “Taskforce Orion will make use of detectives from right across Queensland and be led by a Detective Inspector. These officers will track down and target those who use the internet to share disgusting images – wherever they are across the state,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

    “They will have a particular focus on people who share these images via ‘peer-to-peer’ networks – that means groups of people sharing indecent images with others, without the need for a central server.

    “They will also target people using the so-called Darknet to share images anonymously. The Darknet is another a web network that can only be accessed with specific software or configurations. It’s a disturbing example of the efforts these people go to in covering their tracks.”

    Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said the new funding would allow the Queensland Police Service to employ extra staff to assist with victim identification and intelligence.

    “One of the most gut-wrenching tasks for our detectives is working to identify the children who have been exploited in these images,” Minister Miller said.

    “As part of the new Taskforce, six new staff will be employed to improve forensic capability and victim identification capacity as well as provide additional intelligence and technical support.

    “And with the constant advances in technology, we are making sure our police stay ahead of the game by investing in a suite of new and specialist technology and equipment for the taskforce detectives.”

    The $3.2 million combating child protection package will also include:

    • Better access to IT applications for detectives to proactively target child sex offenders;
    • Enhanced training for regionally-based officers in child exploitation investigation best-practice;
    • An increase in the storage capacity of the evidence database, allowing more effective categorisation of child exploitation material data; and
    • Working with the Crime and Corruption Commission to develop improved capability in support of joint operations and investigations with the QPS;

    Premier Palaszczuk said her government was committed to keeping Queensland children safe.

    “This is all about ensuring our police are well-resourced and properly-equipped to get on with the job. My Government deeply appreciates the hard work from the detectives of Taskforce Argos, the entire Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group and regional police,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
    “I know the detectives who will work on Taskforce Orion will do an outstanding job protecting Queensland children.”

    Commissioner Ian Stewart said preventing, detecting and deterring child exploitation requires significant investment, high-end skills and partnerships.

    “We will use this new money to build capability. Deputy Commissioner Gollschewski and Assistant Commissioner Carless will ensure police in specialist squads and those in regions across the state are best positioned to target offenders,” Commissioner Stewart said.

    “Make no mistake. The government and police are in this for the long haul.”

    The $3.2 million has been sourced from savings from the commission of inquiry, which came in more than 50 per cent under its budget of $6 million.

    Media contacts:

    Premier’s Office (Chris Taylor) – 0417 263 791

    Minister’s Office (Brent Davidson) – 0438 696 185