Power of Partnerships highlighted at YTVC Conference

Mon 08-05-2023 10:08 am AEST

AFP Commander Helen Schneider recently spoke at the Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities (YTVC) Conference, highlighting the importance of partnerships for the AFP’s success in combatting online child exploitation.

In her new role as Commander ACCCE and Human Exploitation, Commander Schneider spoke about the successes of the ACCCE, including recent disruption efforts that have brought together the operational, educational and communications teams to disrupt crimes such as financial sextortion.

“One of the advantages of the ACCCE model, is that it can disrupt online child sexual abuse through many avenues. We can disrupt through rapid operational response with law enforcement partners, prevention initiatives, capability uplift, technology advancements and leveraging research and academia,” said Commander Schneider.

“Partnerships allow us to plan and enable proactive operations, to take the time to pave the smart path to gain the most impact... to disrupt crime and remove victims from harm".

The Queensland Police Minister joined the Queensland Police Commissioner to open the conference, speaking about tech-facilitated crime as an ongoing issue for the community, and the borderless nature of the crimes which can be committed.

The 465 delegates at the conference heard from Carol Todd, who recounted her story as the parent of a victim who suffered self-harm and ultimately committed suicide in response to this crime.

“My job is to share this story with parents and educators in simple terms,” Mrs Todd said. “Your expertise comes with complicated language which parents don’t get. I want to be able to go out there to tell parents and community leaders that there’s lots of work going on behind the scenes".

Delegates heard from a range of AFP staff, including Commander Graeme Marshall and Federal Agent Chris Chappell from the Victorian Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, who spoke about the Philippines perspective and Long Distance Child Sexual Abuse.

Scott Ralph, from the ACCCE Intelligence Fusion Cell, joined his Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) colleague Jodie Baumgartner to highlight their collaborative efforts to disrupt financial sextortion of teenagers in Australia.

Delegates also heard from Covert Online Engagement colleague Cassie Hetherington, who talked about her experience from the ACCCE in engaging with domestic and international counterparts to bring offenders to justice and remove victims from harm.