Family Networks Targeting Children: Police
NSW police have uncovered what they believe to
be "family networks" of pedophiles operating around the State.
A confidential report reveals "a significant number" of
child sex offenders in NSW share the same surname.
Police have specifically identified three groups with the same last name.
They are trying to work out how many of them are related, and how.
The report says an examination of the NSW pedophile register
in September showed "a significant number of offenders ... could
be grouped into subsets of three with the same last name, presenting
the first indications of trends associated with family networks of
child sex offenders."
A child-abuse summit in Sydney in October heard that 35 per cent of
sexual assaults on children were made by a parent.
The startling revelation about family networks of pedophiles is also
believed to have been presented to the summit. Until now, it has remained secret.
The latest report says it has been established that several generations
of the same family can be involved in drug dealing, car theft or identity
fraud. Statistics about pedophiles are less reliable, however.
The report, compiled by the NSW Police Child Protection Registry, also gives
a chilling insight into the strategies pedophiles employ.
"Offenders have established companies to publish children's books," the
report says. Others have set up companies to provide tutoring services
And jail is no barrier to offenders trying to set up future contact with
"(There are) strong indications that the highest-risk offenders
actively network within (jail)," the report says.
"Strategies have included passing information on the children of
other inmates to allow (pedophiles being released) to target
vulnerable families in the community."
In some cases, charity workers have been "manipulated" so that
offenders can share accommodation.
Other pedophiles make a point of sharing accommodation with
someone working with children.
The report discusses the future of the Australian National
Child Offender Register (ANCOR).
ANCOR is being set up to provide a central index of pedophiles.
It is separate from the NSW register, which was established in
2001 and is the oldest and most reliable database in Australia.
The report says that if ANCOR was properly developed, it could
prevent offences against children.
"The first phase of the project is ending, leaving little in
the way of nationally consistent procedures and policy," it says.
It also warns that some pedophiles who actively avoid reporting
their address "are acknowledged as the greatest risk to children".
But so far, there is no national approach to targeting such criminals.
The Sunday Telegraph (18-12-2005)