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NZ agencies urge young people to be safe online as reports of online child exploitation continue to rise

10.18am 23 April 2024

Customs continues to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our colleagues in Police and the Department of Internal Affairs to not only manage and respond to America’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reporting, but to do the best we can to keep our children safe from this heart-breaking abuse, happening both here in New Zealand and across the world.

Chief Customs Officer – Child Exploitation Operations Team, Simon Peterson says behind every one of these reports is an online user, here in New Zealand, who may pose a real threat to our communities and our tamariki, in particular.

“These are also not nuisance crimes - the majority of objectionable material that New Zealand agencies deal with show real children being harmed through often-horrific sexual abuse. Ever-increasing reporting of online offending is a clear marker for increasing global demand, and victimisation, of our society's most vulnerable.”

The joint Police-Customs-DIA online sexploitation media statement is on the Police News website now: