Tania Maxwell MP is extremely concerned that Victorian sentencing practices for crimes involving child pornography are not reflective of community expectations or the gravity of offending, and has called on the Victorian Government to publicly release crime data specific to child pornography offences.

Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton recently stated that Victoria is currently facing a tidal wave of violent child pornography material. Ms Maxwell’s question, directed to the Minister for Child Protection, follows a series of harrowing cases and reports of  child exploitation – including of Australian paedophiles accessing child pornography material (such as images of children being tortured and murdered) in extraordinary proportions online.

Ms Maxwell noted that approximately one in five people incarcerated in Victoria are serious sex offenders, and that an overwhelming majority of child pornography offenders (around two-thirds) never serve a prison sentence.

Currently, child pornography offences are grouped into the broader category of ‘offensive conduct’. Ms Maxwell has asked for greater transparency of data specific to child pornography. She has also requested that crime data specific to child pornography offending and sentencing be made publicly available. In addition, Ms Maxwell has asked the Minister for further clarification on what, if any, changes are being implemented in Victoria to proactively target child pornography offenders and ensure adequate sentences which reflect community expectations.

Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell

“It is essential that we continue to fight for the rights of children, and ensure that those who are convicted of either producing or viewing child exploitation material are held accountable. Sentencing of these offenders must reflect the seriousness of the crime.”

“Victims will face many incredibly serious challenges in overcoming such exploitation.  We will never eradicate violence from society as long as this abuse of children continues.”