PARENTS URGED TO CHECK IN WITH KIDS DURING NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK

It’s National Child Protection Week and New South Wales Police is urging parents and carers to check in with their kids about cyber-safety.

Last week Strike Force Trawler arrested and charged three men over alleged online grooming, following an elaborate sting.

Detectives posing as a 14-year-old began engaging online with a Hunter man last month.

It’s alleged the 44-year-old engaged in sexually explicit conversations, and agreed to meet who he thought was a teenage girl for sex.

Police arrested the man at Waratah Railway station last Tuesday – he was taken to Waratah Police Station and charged.

Dectectives also searched the man’s home, seizing mobile phones, laptops and electronic storage devices.

The man was refused bail and will front court in October.

A similar sting was carried out against a man from the Central Coast.

In May, detectives began engaging with the 41-year-old, who allegedly believed he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl.

It’s also alleged the man sent sexually explicit material to her.

He was arrested last Wednesday in Newcastle.

He remains behind bars and will front Wyong Local Court later this week.

A 32-year-old man from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs was also arrested and charged with using a carriage service to procure a child under 16.

He’ll front court in November.

Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superindentent Chris Goddard, says the pandemic means more children are being potentially exposed to the dangers of the internet.

“This year, we know more children have been spending time indoors at home, which often includes activities on devices and on the internet.”

“If you or your child ever come across any concerning material online, we would encourage you to contact local police immediately.”

“The nature of incidents that our detectives are faced with can be difficult and confronting to investigate, but we will continue to work tirelessly to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”