ACCCE scores New Zealand Covert Online Specialist

Wed 17-08-2022 08:12 am AEST

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) has been fortunate to have the opportunity to recently embed New Zealand’s Lead Online Investigator for Digital Safety into its Covert Online Engagement Unit.

The Inspector works for New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and previously with the NZ Police, Online Child Exploitation Team. He is recognised internationally as an expert in covert online engagement.

The eight week secondment has been three years in the making, thanks largely to ACCCE Operations Manager Jon Rouse. 

“For more than 20 years, Australia has benefited from the operational relationship that we have maintained with DIA investigators. 

“This partnership has resulted in the dismantling of complex child sex offender networks, the identification and removal of multiple child victims and the arrest of high value offenders,” Inspector Rouse said. 

The Inspector is using his time here to share operating practices with his colleagues in the ACCCE, mentoring covert online members and working together on current operations.

“One of my goals is to further enhance the good partnership between the ACCCE and NZ DIA. Not just the covert unit, but all teams within the ACCCE,” he said.  

The secondment is already seeing success, with the identification of a New Zealand man sharing child sexual abuse material on dark net sites. It is also hoped to build upon this initial opportunity with additional secondments into the future.