Monday, May 12, 2008

Child sex abuse taskforce powers working: ACC

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) head Alistair Milroy says a taskforce into child abuse in Aboriginal communities has used its newly-granted coercive powers.

In February the National Indigenous Violence and Child Abuse Taskforce was granted the power to summon documents and force witnesses to appear.

Mr Milroy says the powers have been used in the Northern Territory, but he cannot say where.

He also says the taskforce has requested documents and spoken directly to witnesses.

"We've also carried out some examinations in the Northern Territory and further examinations later in May and June," he said.

"I can indicate that they've gone along very smoothly and have greatly assisted the ACC in continuing to build a national and state picture of violence and child abuse."

Mr Milroy says the taskforce needed the powers to counter resistance to its investigations from some quarters.

"There's been an indication over the period of the last 12 months where there has been a lack of reporting," he said.

"High levels of under-reporting of child sexual abuse by service providers and others and it was felt necessary as a result of that to overcome these impediments."


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