On-line predators are grooming children and sharing exploitative material un-monitored via the internet due to a lack of police resources in the Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU)
With just one officer working as a ‘technology enabled crime officer’ in the Manning Great Lakes Police District, the Police Association of NSW is pleading with the NSW Government for more staff.
Victoria has almost double the number of dedicated officers, and Queensland has almost triple officers to NSW working in the CEIU.
Manning Great Lakes requires 12 officers immediately to cover staffing for the new upgrade at Forster Police Station.
However, long term the site would like to see an additional 26 officers to assist with policing at the out stations – Wingham, Nabiac, Gloucester and Bulahdelah.
Currently police attached to Wingham and Nabiac work out of Forster and Taree police, a situation that increases response times to the more rural communities.
A lack of ‘technology enabled crime officers’ in districts and local commands also meant police in the Manning Great Lakes Police District did not have access to the full breadth of information they needed to monitor pedophiles in the area.
PANSW Manning Great Lakes branch official Jaimie Reardon said the force needed an urgent increase in the number of police dedicated to monitoring and capturing on-line predators.
“Our Child Exploitation Internet Unit is one of the best in the world, but a severe lack of resources means they’re unable to adequately monitor the predators lurking on-line, harming our innocent children,” Senior Constable Reardon said.
“We know additional people on the ground would result in additional arrests – there’s no doubt about that,” she said.
“By not resourcing the unit properly, the government is exposing our children and communities to an unacceptable degree of risk.
“The public rightly expect our police to be monitoring and capturing these on-line offenders before they ruin the lives of our children, but unfortunately the reality is our police don’t have the resources to keep up with what would reasonably be expected to keep our children and community safe.
Senior Constable Reardon said the CEIU urgently required an additional 16-21 dedicated officers, which would allow for:
“We also need additional technology enabled crime officers in our districts and local commands, including in the northern region of NSW,” she said.
“Every parent out there is rightly terrified about the possibility of predators lurking online.
“The community deserves to know that we’ve got the resources we need to keep our children as safe as possible online, but unfortunately at the moment that’s not the case.”
The call for additional police dedicated to the Child Exploitation Internet Unit forms part of the Police Association of NSW’s call for an additional 2500 police in the State.
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