Public help sought to crack child abuse cold cases

Federal police hope people will recognise items in the images to help solve child abuse cases.

Federal police hope people will recognise items in the images to help solve child abuse cases. Photo: AAP

Investigators have released images linked to historical child abuse matters in the hope the public can help crack the cold cases.

Australian Federal Police Commander Helen Schneider hopes the four “background images” – released as part of the Trace an Object initiative – will help secure breakthroughs.

The images included a room with a fireplace, pictures of “distinctive brickwork” and yellow curtains, and a bed frame, Ms Schneider said on Monday .

“These images are from older images and so we believe that the child victims in these matters are now adults,” she said.

“We ask all Australians in the community to help us in terms of looking at these images and seeing if they can recognise any of those distinctive features.

“The slightest piece of information can lead to assisting vulnerable victims, identifying new victims, or potentially the arrest of an offender.”

The AFP is in particular seeking assistance from real estate agents, tradespeople, builders and others who could recognise specific features from the photographs.

The images are on the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation website.

The call for public help coincides with Child Protection Week, aimed at drawing attention to the harms experienced by children around Australia.

The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect used the week’s official launch to call for a summit on protecting minors.

Association chief executive Leesa Waters said keeping children safe was the best investment that could be made in a healthier, fairer country.

“It’s not fair that three out of five – that’s 60 per cent – of Australians experience at least one form of maltreatment in childhood – either physical, emotional, sexual, domestic violence or neglect,” she said.

The group has written to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urging the government to initiate the summit.


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