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Child abuse pics may hold cold case clues

A series of images extracted from child abuse material and released to the public could help the Australian Federal Police solve a number of cold cases.

The pictures include pieces of clothing or bedding, and have been published by the Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object project launched on Thursday.

The victims are believed to be in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, and investigators are distributing the images in the hope someone will recognise them.

“If you recognise an object and any details about its origin, be it from a shop, location or time period, please report it via the ACCCE website. You can do so securely and anonymously,” AFP Assistant Commissioner Lesa Gale said.

“No clue is too small. Your small tip could be the information we need to rescue a child from significant harm.”

The model is based on a Europol initiative that has led to the removal of 10 children from harm and arrest of three offenders.

The AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation branch examines “the most abhorrent material imaginable”, frame by frame, looking for clues.

It says the production of child sexual abuse material is getting worse and is now on an industrial scale.

In 2020, the AFP charged 191 people with 1847 child abuse-related offences and removed 89 children from harm.

View the nine images at www.accce.gov.au/trace

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