AFP to beef up internet child protection unit

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Allocates funds in final internal budget.

The Australian Federal Police has earmarked an expansion of its team of agents that police the internet looking for child predators.

Commissioner Tony Negus told Senate Estimates [PDF] that the federal agency was "in the final processing of allocating [its] final internal budget."

"The internet policing team - the ones who do the online tracking of child predators and those sorts of things - has eight officers but it does have a surge capacity. We can bring people into it," Negus said.

"We are planning as part of our internal budget reallocation to increase that number.

"I am not sure whether we have any final numbers on that yet, but that will grow over the coming year."

The team sits within the AFP's high-tech crime unit, which has around 350 staff.

Negus also shed further light on the Australian National Victim Image Library (ANVIL), a project first touted back in March.

The library will help shield front-line officers from having to trawl through thousands of disturbing images to locate new ones as they appear on the internet.

"It searches using technology and it identifies new images or new pictures that have been put up on the internet which might be child pornography or something like that," Negus said.

"Rather than trawling through 1,000 images to find three new ones, it will spit out the three new ones and that is all they will have to do.

"So we are looking at technology to shield our own people from having to view this sort of material as regularly as they have in the past."


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