Wednesday, 21 June 2017 - 11:01am -
Commissioner Mike Bush

NZ Police international investigation rescues 31 children from exploitation

2 min read

Ngā mihi. The results speak for themselves. 31 children rescued in a number of countries and 18 people arrested on a variety of charges relating to child exploitation and child sex offences.

NZ Police’s Online Child Exploitation Across New Zealand (OCEANZ) team have recently received international recognition for one of the biggest and most successful cases in their history.

On 8 September 2015, Homeland Security Immigration Customs Enforcement in the United States, contacted us about an international investigation with links to Christchurch.  

OCEANZ, together with Canterbury District’s Child Protection Team, worked on the NZ component, identifying a number of domestic and international offenders.   

Thanks in part to the great work of our staff, the offenders received significant sentences, some of which were more than 20 years, and one United States based offender received a sentence of 30 years. 

There are still a number of active investigations around the world and we expect the number of children rescued and offenders prosecuted to grow.

This investigation has not only saved children from abuse, but it has also strengthened our relationships with overseas agencies.  Our staff received significant praise for their work, with Detective Superintendent Andy Lawson from Police Scotland saying: “In my view, this is without doubt one of the best examples of law enforcement working at an international level that I have ever witnessed….More crucially the prompt and professional actions by all of the officers concerned in this case enabled a child, indeed potentially other children, to be protected from further harm by this perpetrator.”

This is exceptional praise on the world stage and I’m extremely proud of the work done on this case.

2nd safest country in the world

Anyone who has seen Our Business knows our mission is to be the safest country

Earlier this month the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) was released, ranking New Zealand second out of 163 countries and behind Iceland. This is up from fourth in 2016.  You can view the results here .

Every single Police officer comes to work at the beginning of each shift to make the community safer and I’m proud to see this work recognised internationally.

We all know that crime is occurring and there are still too many victims across the country. The new $388m Safer Communities investment package will allow Police to put more resources on the streets and focusing on areas of concern.

Earlier this month I announced where in districts the first phase of staff will be placed. If you haven’t already read how this affects your district you can view the press release here

As always, stay safe.


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