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WA Police Fight Cyber Predators

WA police are stepping up the fight against cyber predators through a national strategy to combat the sick crime.
A meeting of senior police from around the country and representatives from government agencies are meeting in Perth this week to expand the nationwide approach to tackling cyber stalkers in Australia and overseas.
Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said catching cyber predators was a growing challenge for police.
"One of the most disturbing and sickening crimes of today is the sexual exploitation of children by cyber predators
"The gobal and borderless nature of these crimes makes it particularly difficult to police.''
The National Investigations Management Group was formed last year to bring implement a national response to the crime.
Since WA police were given powers earlier this year to trap internet perverts by posing as children in online chatrooms, 17 people have been charged with 62 cyber sex offences.
But police concede the charges are only the tip of the iceberg.
Mr O'Callaghan said children who used internet chat rooms were at greatest risk.
He said state and Federal agencies were committed to sharing intelligence and providing specialist training to keep police up to date with local and international trends.
WA police were likely to support further law changes to give officers in the cyber predator unit greater power to trace and charge internet paedophiles.
He said other organisations, including schools and the state government, had roles in protecting children using the internet.
"A major part of the strategy, for parents in particular, is to know what their children are doing on line,'' he said.
The national strategy for combating cyber predators was developed last year and is linked with the Virtual Global Taskforce, an worldwide alliance between law enforcement agencies.

AAP (23-11-2006)
Jim Kelly


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