644 cases of suspected child abuse caught in IT glitch

AUTHORITIES have discovered 644 reports of suspected child sexual abuse in Queensland have not been passed on to police due to a computer glitch.

Education Minister Kate Jones said changes were made to how schools handled certain cases of suspected abuse in January.

Principals who believed a parent or guardian was working in the best interest of a child they suspected was being abused would report the mistreatment to police through a computer program.

The principals would then receive notification police had received the report.

Although principals were receiving notifications, police were not receiving the reports.

Ms Jones said an employee had failed to test the changes.

She said the implementation failure had been corrected.

The state's education department has stood down two workers while internal and external reviews take place.

Ms Jones said since Thursday police had hastily worked to assess more than 500 of the reports that had been missed.

Child support organisation Bravehearts said it was important the children at the centre of the reports received the counselling and support they needed.

"We know for the most part this crime is preventable," a spokesman said.

"We just need kids to be educated on personal safety and for adults to step up to the plate and prioritise the safety of children, and that can only be done through specialised training."

He said Bravehearts Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure Show needed Queensland Government funding to ensure children were properly educated. - APN NEWSDESK


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