New South Wales Police have arrested 19 men in a state-wide crackdown targeting child abuse material and online grooming.
The week-long blitz kicked off on Monday when detectives executed a search warrant at a home in Hillvue and seized a number of electronic devices allegedly containing a large amount of child abuse material.
A 20-year-old man was taken to Tamworth Police Station where he was charged with one count of possess child abuse material.
He was granted conditional bail to appear at Tamworth local court on September 18.
On Tuesday, police raided a home at Dural in Sydney’s north where they located digital devices allegedly containing child abuse material.
During the search, police also allegedly located a laser pointer and gel blaster.
A 20-year-old man was taken to Ryde Police Station where he was charged with five offences including, possess child abuse material, possess prohibited weapon without permit, and possess unauthorised pistol.
He was granted conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on Monday.
This week NSW Police district officers, with assistance from Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU), executed a targeted ‘Week of Action’ to coincide with National Child Protection Week.
The crackdown was launched amid an ongoing investigation in relation to alleged child abuse material being accessed earlier this month.
The investigation was referred to Riverstone Police, culminating in a search warrant being executed at a home in Rouse Hill on Wednesday.
During the search, detectives seized a number of electronic devices for further forensic examination.
A 51-year-old man was arrested and charged with use carriage service to access child abuse material.
He was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court on November 3.
On Thursday police spoke with a 37-year-old at a home in Marsfield and in a search warrant located devices allegedly containing child abuse material, and 18 prohibited firearms.
He was charged with 23 offences including, 19 counts of possess unauthorised pistol, possess child abuse material, possess unauthorised prohibited firearm, and possess/use prohibited weapon without permit.
He was refused bail at Burwood Local Court and is due to reappear on September 20.
Another search warrant was later executed at a unit in Homebush where a 26-year-old man was allegedly found to be in possession of child abuse material.
He was arrested and charged at Auburn Police Station and is due to reappear at Burwood Local Court on September 12.
And finally, a 36-year-old man was arrested at a business in Queanbeyan in the state’s south-east.
Police seized a number of electronic devices, firearms, and ammunition in a search warrant at a nearby home.
The man was charged with possess child abuse material and was granted bail to appear at Queanbeyan Local Court on October 3.
Sex Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty said the arrests highlighted the importance of educating children about online safety.
“This is a topic we cannot just stay silent over – the safety and protection of children of this state should be at the front of everyone’s minds,” she said.
“Conversations online can quickly turn into a scary and dangerous place, so parents need to be aware of the forums and applications their children are using.
“It’s also about how we model our behaviours to show children how best to use social media and websites. Start talking to your children about what content you can safely share.”