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Child Protection Agency Sounds Warning

Press Release

Child Protection Agency Sounds Warning

According to a report in the NZ Herald yesterday an Auckland man who works with children has been charged with sexual grooming of an underage girl and offering to give her P. He will appear in court today for the second time to face three criminal charges of grooming for sex, unlawful sexual connection with a child aged between 12 and 16, and offering to supply methamphetamine.

ECPAT Child ALERT, a child protection agency is dismayed to hear of this case. “This man was trusted by his employer, had worked with him for 10 years and had access to children. He betrayed the trust placed in him by those children and by his employer and his family. This sends a strong warning to all those that care for children including schools, youth clubs, sports clubs, churches, day care centres and even families. There is no typical offender profile. An offender can be within those that are trusted and given responsibilities. Therefore it is important that child protection measures are in place, understood, well publicised and committed to.”

The lawyer for the man charged made an urgent application to the court to suppress his client's name, occupation and address on the grounds that publication was likely to cause "extreme hardship to the defendant and persons connected with him".

The police started an investigation after being approached by the grandmother of the girl at the centre of the case.

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ECPAT says” This is a good example of someone taking notice of some danger signals and sounding an alert. The response from the Police is to be applauded and prompt action may have prevented further abuse occurring. This is a responsibility we all have in protecting children but sadly many people are not aware enough of the risks confronted by children here in our own country of New Zealand.”

The employer said he wanted the suppressions to be lifted. He said the staff member, who has worked for him for nearly 10 years, was suspended immediately after his arrest and his colleagues told of the arrest, followed by the wider community. He says "We've known each other a long time and this has let a lot of people down."

ECPAT Child ALERT is a registered child protection agency working to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.


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