Brisbane’s very own elite team of internet warriors is fighting the good fight on a dark and truly disturbing battlefield.
It’s a war.
But the innocent children who may be the casualties have the best of allies.
It is called Taskforce Argos.
Minister for Police Mark Ryan said that over the past two decades this dedicated team has been instrumental in the undoing of some of the world’s worst paedophiles, waging war against those who abuse children.
“Its motto .. “leave no stone unturned”.
“Taskforce Argos is making a difference across the world,” Minister Ryan said.
In the last year Argos detectives have:
- Contributed to the removal of 83 children from sexual harm nationally and internationally
- Arrested 200 child sex offenders on 1,254 criminal charges
- Finalised one major international operation (Artemis) targeting child sexual exploitation
- Generated 309 cases referred to law enforcement agencies nationally and internationally
- Identified 83 child victims globally
“The members of Taskforce Argos are among the world’s elite and are led by some of the most dedicated police officers you will ever meet,” the Minister said.
During the last 12 months, the Victim Identification Manager for Argos and chair of the INTERPOL Specialist Group on Crimes Against Children, Mr Paul Griffiths, was invited by EUROPOL to participate in a taskforce in The Hague, focussing on international efforts to identity children depicted in abuse images and video.
The officer in charge, Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, continued in his role as the chair of the INTERPOL Covert Online Investigators Group in Lyon, France.
He also received an international award for his dedication to fighting and investigating crimes against children for more than 20 years.
The prestigious Champion for Children Award from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children’s was awarded to Detective Inspector Rouse in May 2018.
Taskforce Argos and the associated policing operations have been instrumental in sharing their expertise in victim identification, technology and arrests across the state.
258 Queensland Police Service officers have been given expert training in regional centres from Cairns in the north to Mount Isa and Longreach in the west and other centres spanning the entire Queensland coastline.
During a recent two year operation 300 search warrants were executed resulting in 326 arrests and 1362 charges.
In addition 97 children were removed from harmful living situations and a further 87 people were placed ‘on notice’ and subject to ongoing monitoring.
This operation exceeded the expectations of both the Queensland Police Service and Government.
Taskforce Argos has unrivalled expertise.
It recruited two child victim identification experts from overseas.
One is a current serving Captain in the French National Police.
The other, a video and audio technician previously employed by the Virginia State Police and other US based law enforcement agencies.
“They and the rest of the Argos team are shining a light into a very dark place,” Minister Ryan said.
“To Detective Inspector Jon Rouse and his Argos team I say on behalf of all Queenslanders, thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the most innocent people of all .. the world’s children.”
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan