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BIKER NEWS: Acting Police Commissioner Ross Barnett denies that pedophiles flourished during bikie war

ONE of Queensland’s top cops has slapped down claims pedophilia has been allowed to flourish as the State Government announced it wo...



ONE of Queensland’s top cops has slapped down claims pedophilia has been allowed to flourish as the State Government announced it would allocate $3.2 million to address the problem.


BIKER NEWS -- Acting Police Commissioner Ross Barnett yesterday revealed officers were “disappointed” with a key finding from the organised crime inquiry that suggested sex offenders went largely unchecked while police chased bikie gangs.

And Opposition police spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said Mr Barnett had exposed the State Government for ordering a “political report” aiming to undo the bikie laws.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s real intention from this report is to get rid of Queensland’s criminal gang legislation that we all know has been effective in reducing crime rates across the state,” Mr Bleijie said.

Mr Barnett said inquiry head Michael Byrne’s conclusion that police adopted a “blinkered” approach on bikies ignored the fact additional resources had been pumped into catching pedophiles.

“There was a little disappointment that the perception was in the child protection area that we had dropped the ball or lost our focus because that, in our view, is clearly not the case,’’ he said.

“It is certainly not supported by the growth in those areas. We take child protection, as the Government does, extremely seriously so we don’t think any criticism along that line is warranted.”

Mr Byrne’s 600-page report criticised police for committing significant resources to bikies, who accounted for less than 1 per cent of Queensland’s crime, while other illegal activities, such as pedophilia and fraud, boomed. Mr Barnett said since the bikie squad Taskforce Maxima had been established, the number of officers in child protection had grown by 73, while an additional nine had been added to Taskforce Argos, Queensland’s renowned sex offender unit.

“So, actually, the resources dedicated to this highest priority area by the police service and the Government have actually increased,’’ he said.



The comments undermined Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement that $3.2 million left over from Mr Byrne’s $6 million inquiry would be used to boost frontline child exploitation investigations.

The announcement came after a meeting between the Premier, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and senior officers.

Ms Palaszczuk said the report clearly showed police and the Government had not done enough to track the perpetrators of sex crimes against children.

“Now that this report has been handed down we have to do more and my government is committed to doing more,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Byrne’s findings would assist the inquiry into the future of the Newman government’s VLAD laws but she would not order police to divert money from their bikie taskforce towards pedophiles.

Mr Byrne’s inquiry made conflicting statements about police pedophilia resources, initially suggesting the “number and rank” of officers attached to Taskforce Argos and the Child Safety and Sexual Crime Group “cannot be published due to operational sensitivities and vulnerabilities”.

“That means the commission is not in a position to make any meaningful comment about the adequacy of human resources in this area,” the report said.

However, it went on to say that two extra fulltime civilian staff were needed in the Victim Identification Team, while Taskforce Argos required at least two fulltime forensic technicians. “There also appears to be a resourcing gap in the intelligence capability of Taskforce Argos.”

The inquiry recommended that police and the Crime and Corruption Commission “be properly resourced, including with technical staff and analysts, to undertake a ‘blitz’ and tackle to a greater degree known Queensland-based offenders sharing child exploitation material”.

It also found there was a “gap” in existing legislation that made it difficult to prosecute the administrators of “darknet” child exploitation sites where it could not be proved that they had actually dealt with the material.

Alarmingly, the inquiry heard there was a “growing trend towards commercialisation of the child exploitation material market”, with offenders increasingly using cyber currencies, such as Bitcoin.

This article was first published on NOVEMBER 03, 2015 12:00AM
Get a copy of courier mail or go to www.couriermail.com.au for more stories.

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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Acting Police Commissioner Ross Barnett denies that pedophiles flourished during bikie war
BIKER NEWS: Acting Police Commissioner Ross Barnett denies that pedophiles flourished during bikie war
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