Thursday, May 23, 2024

Online predator trawled by strike force

A 59-year-old man will face court today after being arrested on Sydney’s Upper North Shore for the alleged online grooming of a child as part of an investigation by Strike Force Trawler detectives.

In April this year, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crime Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit (CEIU) began engaging online with the St Ives man.

Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the teenager on multiple social media platforms.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested the 59-year-old man at his home last Tuesday.

A search warrant was then executed at the property, where investigators seized mobile phones, laptops and electronic storage devices.

The man was taken to Hornsby Police Station, where he was charged with use carriage service to send indecent material to person under 16 years and use carriage service to groom person under 16 years for sexual activity.

He was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Hornsby Local Court today.

Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.

Regular covert online investigations are conducted by the CEIU; and police in NSW work closely with their law-enforcement colleagues interstate and overseas.

The Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad is comprised of detectives who are specially trained to investigate matters against children and adults, including sexual assault, serious physical abuse, and extreme cases of neglect.

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or exploitation should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

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