Sunday 19 July, 2020
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has vowed to give Queensland police new powers to prosecute pedophiles who use the internet to groom children for sexual abuse.
Ms Frecklington said the laws would be based on South Australia’s Carly’s Law – introduced after 15-year-old Carly Ryan was raped and murdered by a 50-year-old pedophile who had posed online as a teenage student.
The LNP’s proposed laws follow growing frustration among QPS detectives over the difficulty of prosecuting offenders caught in the early stages of online grooming.
“There’ll be no hiding place for vile online predators under a government I lead,” Ms Frecklington said.
“These laws will ensure police have the tools they need to protect kids from online predators.
“As a mother of three young girls, I fully understand the dangers involved with social media and I will do whatever it takes to keep kids safe.
“I want Queensland to be the safest place for families and children.”
The LNP’s first proposed law will make it an offence for an adult to communicate with a child while claiming to be younger than they are, or another person altogether, in order to meet with a child.
The second law will make it an offence for an adult to communicate with a child while claiming to be younger than they are, or another person altogether, with intent to commit an offence against the child.
The first offence will have a maximum penalty of five years’ prison and the second 10 years.
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said Queensland’s version of Carly’s Law would give police more powers to intercept predators sooner.
“The LNP will give police more powers to protect children from harm,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Our criminal laws need to keep pace with technology, especially as more children than ever before are engaging with others online through social media.”