Mum catches man photographing young girl in Bunnings
AFTER catching a pervert taking photos of her daughter at a local hardware store, a Bundy mum has joined the call for a national child sex offender register.
Renee Talbot said her 14-year-old daughter was left feeling "violated and disturbed" on Tuesday afternoon when a man she didn't know whipped out a digital camera and snapped pictures of her standing in the aisles of Bunnings.
"We were walking around doing our shopping when my daughter walked up to me and said 'that guy just took photos of me'," Mrs Talbot told the NewsMail yesterday.
The mother of four said as soon as she turned around she saw the "creep" looking in her family's direction, digital camera in hand.
"I didn't know what to do," Mrs Talbot said.
"My initial reaction was to go off, but I didn't want to make a scene," Mrs Talbot said.
The man responsible for the unnerving behaviour had white hair and appeared to be in his late 50s or early 60s.
He was removed from the store as soon as Mrs Talbot and her husband alerted staff.
"Bunnings was amazing, they did a really good job in responding," Mrs Talbot said.
The creepy incident comes just two months after well-known Bundaberg CBD worker Kimberley John Jenkinson was sent to prison for having more than 450,000 child porn images and videos.
The 47-year-old will spend the next seven months behind bars before being released on 12 months probation.
Mrs Talbot said nobody should be taking photos of other people's children but admitted the dangers of being publicly photographed were becoming more real each day.
"Everybody's got a camera in their pocket (now)," she said.
"It just made me so angry. We moved here six weeks ago."
Bunnings Queensland north operations manager Kent Payne yesterday confirmed the incident and said "the safety of customers and team is our highest priority and we will help with police investigation if required".
The crackdown on child sex offenders ramped up this week when Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton urged each Australian state to sign up to a child-sex offender registry.
The online list would be publicly-accessible and would contain information such as a person's name, photo, aliases, date of birth, the nature of their offending and their general locality, such as their postcode.
Mr Dutton told The Australian on Tuesday the measure was vital in deterring potential offenders and would be the "toughest crackdown on pedophiles in Australia's history".
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett backed the push as well, saying more needed to be done by the government to keep children safe.
The father and grandfather said "unfortunately many children may never tell they have experienced harm, so it's up to us parents to do all we can".
There are currently 3,472 people on the state's child offender system, according to the Queensland Police Service.