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Byron Shire
February 26, 2024

Five men charged with child sex offences, Gold Coast

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Queensland Police say five men have been charged with multiple child sex offences following a joint investigation by officers from Argos and the Gold Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit.

The investigation commenced on November 20 on the Gold Coast, identifying the men engaging with Argos Detectives online where they arranged to meet and access a child.

It will be alleged the men used the internet to access a child with the intention of engaging in sexual acts.

Charged with grooming a parent

As a result of the operation, a 58-year-old Mermaid Waters man was charged with grooming a parent or the carer of a child under 16 years with intent to procure child for a sexual act. He is expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on November 29.

A 25-year-old Mermaid Beach man was charged with grooming a parent or the carer of a child under 16 years with intent to procure child for a sexual act, and the solicitation of child abuse material by using a carriage service. He is expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on December 6.

A 22-year-old Southport man was charged with grooming a parent or the carer of a child under 16 years with intent to procure child for a sexual act. He is expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on December 6.

A 28-year-old Upper Coomera man was charged with grooming a parent or the carer of a child under 16 years with intent to procure child for a sexual act. He is expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on December 6.

A 45-year-old Helensvale man was charged with grooming a parent or the carer of a child under 16 years with intent to procure child for a sexual act. He is expected to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on December 6.

Targeting those who seek to sexually exploit children online

Detective Acting Inspector Cameron Burke of the Child Abuse and Sexual Crime Group’s unit Argos said whilst this investigation centred on the Gold Coast, police will continue to work across Queensland, and with interstate and international partners, to target those who seek to sexually exploit children online.

Detective Acting Inspector Burke said this operation also highlights that parents and carers need to have regular conversations with their children about online safety and the importance of having a trusted adult that they can confide in if they are worried about an online experience or are feeling unsafe.

Detective Acting Inspector Greg Aubort of the Gold Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit said proactive operations such as these are crucial to draw out sexual offenders who utilise on-line means to groom and offend against child victims.

Resources and advice

  • eSafety Commissioner a key partner of the QPS in enhancing online safety, with a comprehensive suite of information, resources and reporting tools to ensure children have a safe experience online.
  • Who’s chatting to your kids? Further QPS advice and information about reducing online risks for children.
  • Out of the dark #doiknowu a campaign by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) supported by the QPS and Department of Education, providing resources to help young people stay safe online.
  • Think U Know is a partnership between Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Datacom, Microsoft, State and Territory Police and Neighbourhood Watch. It provides information on topics including sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation, online privacy, and what to do when something goes wrong.

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