It’s been estimated that one billion children are living in sexually abusive circumstances across the globe today. Leading the battle against online pedophiles is a dedicated team of Brisbane law enforcement personnel who have helped rescue thousands of kids from those who do them despicable harm.
“Any child, anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter where they are from, that’s our job to stop the abuse,” Detective Inspector Jon Rouse tells WHO. The veteran cop has spent the past two decades at the helm of Task Force Argos, whose work has led to arrests in Australia, Britain, the US, and the Philippines.
Set up in 1997 to investigate historical allegations of institutionalized child abuse, the special policing branch saw a shift in priorities as the emergence of the internet in the early 2000s saw pedophiles set up online chat boards to share abusive material.
Argos’ methods, which are explored in a new documentary The Children in the Pictures, are unconventional and controversial, but they work. The team assumes the identity of arrested leaders of dark web chat boards where exploitative material of kids is shared. Once they have gained control, identification officers wade through mountains of horrifying images and videos, hoping for some tiny clue that will lead them to the child.
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