Online groomers - Profiling, policing and prevention

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By Julia Davidson and Petter Gottschalk

Large format paperback, 208 pages

Published 2009

The internet has greatly facilitated the ways in which paedophiles can groom children and young people. This important book offers numerous new insights and, in the process, provide a sound conceptual approach to understanding continued development in:

  • characteristics of the internet
  • how these are explored and exploited by sexual offenders to groom their victims (from the initial targeting of sited where children and young people visit online, contacting their potential victims and forming a bond, through to the abuse taking place):
  • legislation against online grooming
  • the conviction, understanding and treatment of offenders preventing them from causing harm

Of immense value to anyone responsible for the care or safeguarding of children and young people, it is relevant to a wide range of practitioners, policy makers, managers, trainers, lecturers, researchers, students, as well as IT and knowledge management professionals. It places examples from current technology and laws within the rapidly developing international context of online child protection, and provide policy and practice information on:

  • profiling online groomers - it discusses characteristics of the internet relevant to online grooming, describes how offenders use the internet to identify and communicate with potential child victims. Presents a stage model for use in assessment of online groomers, to classify offenders in terms of seriousness over time
  • policing online groomers, by all concerned agencies working together - it explains and analyses various approaches on how legislation can be improved, how developments in knowledge management can help, the potentially supportive roles of information technology and police performance management
  • preventing online grooming offences, again by all concerned agencies working together - it introduces concepts of online sex offending prevention and describes recent initiatives to protect children online (including offender monitoring, international databases of offenders and victims, and joint efforts to trace individuals who use credit cards to access illegal sites), and presents a new approach to educational awareness and internet safety, describing programmes to help safeguard children and young people

Above all, this book demonstrates how people working in many different specialisms and countries can co-operate to help ensure children and young people remain safe online.

Dr Julia Davidson is Professor of Criminology and Sociology, and Director of Social Research at Kingston University. She is also Co-Director of the newly formed Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies. She has extensive experience of applied policy and practice research, and has directed work with young victims, serious violent and sexual offenders, criminal justice practitioners and sentencers. She is the author of Child Sexual abuse: Media Representations and Government Reactions (Routledge 2008).

Dr Petter Gottschalk is Professor of Information Systems and Knowledge Management at the Norwegian School of Management. He teaches Knowledge Management in Law Enforcement and Organized Crime in the Norwegian Police University College, and has been managing director of several business enterprises including ABB Data Cables and the Norwegian Computing Centre. He is the author of knowledge Management in Policing and Law Enforcement (OUP 2007).


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