Police have admitted they are struggling to keep up with the large amount of child exploitation material that is published online.
The officers already had to deal with 12,000 cases this year, with minors upload videos and explicit pictures online as part of a new trend of self-produced child exploitation material & # 39; adopted by predators.
The pedophiles convince their victims to carry the material, in one case claiming to be a dance instructor, and then turn the tables to blackmail the children soon after.
Due to the advancement of social media platforms, the police are struggling to keep up with the amount of child exploitation material that is published online.
The victim-based crime manager of the Australian Federal Police, Commander Lesa Gale, met with A Current Affair to discuss the growing issue of self-produced material.
"There are Australian children who now carry self-produced images of themselves, possibly while their parents are sitting in the living room with them," he said.
"The number is so great that my team is really struggling to keep up with the volume and speed of this, we can not keep up, to be frank."
So far, in 2018, the police have investigated 12,000 complaints of abuse, and each of them contains potentially thousands of videos or images.
The Office of the Commissioner eSafety recently published a report that showed that one in four young Australians is targeted by strangers online.
The commissioner of eSafety, Julie Inman Grant, said that it is a statistic that must be addressed.
The predators convince their victims to carry the material (in one case, by saying that they are dance instructors) and then turn the tables and blackmail the children.
"Negative online experiences not only affect young people, therefore, it is essential that we inculcate the skills and strategies to face difficult online experiences from an early age." Online safety is a lifelong journey, not a destination, "he said.
Ms. Gale said that social media applications and platforms allowed predators to prepare unsuspecting children more quickly than in the past.
Current Affair was shown a case study of a teenager that an online predator prepared and then blackmailed, first captivating her to send a compromising image.
In this case, the girl was contacted by someone posing as a woman who was organizing a dance competition and requested videos of the girl's performance.
Soon, the predator was telling the girl to record a video that would be "taking away the pjs and putting them back."
ESafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant says statistics must be addressed while police struggle to keep up with the volume of cases
Ms. Gale says that social networks are allowing predators to prepare unsuspecting children in a faster way than in the past
Many of the predators will resort to blackmail as soon as they have received a compromising image, threatening to share it with the victim's friends and family online.
The advice for the victims is to go to the parents and the authorities immediately, before things get out of control.
One of the worst cases in Australian history is convicted child sex offender Fabian Roy Meharry, 27, who pleaded guilty to 193 counts of rape, child pornography and animal pornography in 2016.
The high-profile BMX cyclist was found guilty of forcing young children to perform horrible sexual acts on themselves, on animals and on their own family members, which he filmed as part of sickly pornography movies.
He then extorted the victims to perform more depraved acts in front of the camera.
While sentenced to 12 years in prison, the judge described Meharry as "a monster of depravity." His sentence was later appealed and increased to 22 years.
A previous report from the Office of the Commissioner eSafety found that 60% of parents are concerned about the risks their children face online.
The research also found that 96 percent of Australian parents took some form of action to keep their child safe online in the 12 months through June 2016.
"The vast majority of parents are proactive, but they need help – more than a third of parents say they need information about online safety," said Acting Commissioner Andree Wright at the time.