The Courier-Mail

Suspected sex-abuse kids found to be safe


QUEENSLAND child safety police have wrapped up about 200 potential abuse investigat­ions sparked by the Education Department’s IT blunder.

Specialist police throughout the state have been working around the clock for the past 10 days to clear 644 cases of suspected abuse initially reported through the flawed computer system.

The head of Queensland’s child safety and sexual crime group revealed about a third of those reports – covering the “spectrum” of child abuse allegation­s – had been finalised.

“The investigat­ions we have so far finalised were those we’d given priority to – those determined to be more serious,’’ said Acting Detective Superinten­dent George Marchesini.

“Of those, we have not come across any evidence of sexual harm (involving children) since receiving the reports on July 31.

“Police have determined that there are no grounds for further action in those investigat­ions, including the preferring of charges,” he said.

But Acting Supt Marchesini could not rule out that no children were still at risk as investigat­ions continued into the remaining 400-odd reports.

“Police may uncover further informatio­n (during the course of their investigat­ions) which they did not have at the time of the report,’’ he said.

Acting Supt Marchesini said police had also received a “handful’’ of the additional 27 reports uncovered late last week that were never passed on from school principals because of the department’s computer system.

The discovery of the second glitch followed a check of 3822 online child abuse reports lodged under the OneSchool system.

Education Minister Kate Jones said there was a “clear risk’’ that other reports never made it to police and child safety officers, and she extended the independen­t review to when the system was introduced almost two years ago.

Ms Jones said the investigat­ion would cover 17,000 reports lodged since September, 2013.

“That process has started. and we expect it could take months,’’ she said.

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