Who’s chatting to your kids? Police issue online safety warning

POLICE are issuing a warning to parents to be extra careful these school holidays after Task Force Argos investigators arrested a Redcliffe man for allegedly indecently communicating with a child via social media and attempting to meet the child in person.

The 49-year-old man was charged after allegedly trying to meet up with, what he believed to be, a 14-year-old girl.

He was arrested after detectives intercepted him at a pre-arranged meeting place in the Brisbane CBD on Friday evening.


The man was charged with using the internet to procure a child under 16 years for a sexual act and intentionally travelling to meet the child. He was released on bail to appear in the Redcliffe Magistrates Court on July 21, 2014.

The arrest forms part of Operation Mike Beau, which involves Task Force Argos investigators acting as young children online, engaging in chat rooms and on social media platforms. This arrest follows a further 20 people already arrested on 61 charges as part of this operation.

“This is not the end of this operation. It certainly has been a very successful operation for us, but it is one we must continue to conduct into the future. While every arrest is a good arrest, we certainly have a lot more work to do in this area,” Detective Acting Superintendent George Marchesini said.

“What worries me the most about every one of these arrests is that this individual not only thought it was ok to sexually engage with a child online, but they woke up that morning with the sole intention of meeting that child and engaging in sexual activity with them. This is truly frightening,” Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said.

“The rise in the use of mobile and tablet technologies by children has increased the opportunities for predators to target children online. It has also created an environment that limits the ability for parents to supervise their children’s online activity,” Detective Inspector Jon Rouse said.

“Parents should remain vigilant about how their children use these technologies to communicate with others and ensure that they discuss a range of online safety strategies. Constant vigilance is required, not only during school holiday periods but every day of the year,” he said.

The State Crime Command’s Taskforce Argos has developed the “Who’s Chatting to your Kids?” program to provide advice to parents on steps they can take to protect their children online and the “Surf Safely” program to provide advice to children on measures they can take to protect themselves.