Protecting children in cyber-space.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Online Child Exploitation Agency of NZ (OCEANZ) is New Zealand's specialist team proactively working to save children in New Zealand from online exploitation.

OCEANZ, set up in 2009, has already rescued six children from current sex abuse settings, safeguarded a further 25 children from potential sex abuse, and identified another two victims from images seized during its investigations.

The team’s work has also led to an offender in the UK being arrested for extremely serious offences.

Earlier this year OCEANZ coordinated an operation that led to the arrest of a man in Auckland alleged to have organised and promoted child sex tours to South East Asia, and dealing in children for sexual exploitation.

OCEANZ head Detective Senior Sergeant John-Paul Michael says the unit is working closely with other agencies and international partners to identify and track offenders involved in the online sexual exploitation of children in New Zealand and overseas.

"We are in almost daily contact with international partners working to identify these offenders across the globe."

"New Zealander’s who think they can travel abroad to commit these horrendous offences against children can expect to be targeted and arrested," he said.

NZ Police have recently joined the Virtual Global Taskforce, based in Australia and made up of law enforcement agencies from around the world, working together to fight child abuse online.

Police are this week showing their support for Child Protection Week, an initiative run in Australia and supported by (ANZPAA) the Australian New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency.

"It is timely to highlight that it is everyone's responsibility to make their children and community safe."

"The internet is the world's largest public place, a place where unprotected children can be targeted by paedophiles. We all need to be looking out for our children as they navigate the internet."

"They need to be protected from strangers online in the same way they would in any public park or playground," Mr Michael said.
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