“Scary”: Top cop discusses online troll surge
AFTER his brother and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher helped open the Act For Kids Facility, Sergeant Wayne Butcher has spoken about Child Protection Week.
In an interview on 4CC Breakfast radio this morning, Sgt Butcher said one of the biggest concerns for the child protection unit in Gladstone was online trolls.
"The online stuff is progressing, as time goes by, as a ways and means for people to disguise who they are and what their main purpose on being on those forums is," Sgt Butcher said.
"It's a bit scary when you talk to officers from Argos and it is spooky and scary how easily someone can portray to be a 12-14 year old boy or girl and jump online trolling."
Sgt Butcher has witnessed first-hand just what the online trolls were capable of during training with Task-force Argos, set up to counter child exploitation.
"They actually show us online how easy it is to get onto these predators, they are looking to hook up with these kids and all that sort of stuff," he said.
"They just trawl around these websites and all of a sudden they get a hit and it goes from there and within 15 minutes the police arranged for a meeting with a man."
Sgt Butcher said it was very important for parents to monitor their kids online activity.
"Because at the end of the day it is their safety which you have to worry about," he said.
"If they are going off to talk to people they have met online that they don't know it is a massive red flag which needs to be jumped all over."
Sgt Butcher said parents or caregivers need to watch out for when their kids hide messages, not being upfront where they were going and other red flags.
"Ask them, if they are not willing to show you their Facebook or Instagram … you trust your kids but sometimes you need to step in," he said.