The internet has facilitated great advances in communication, social media, business and education. However, it has also facilitated the access and distribution of child abuse material, and assisted in the access to, and grooming of children online for sexual purposes.Grooming (sometimes referred to as seduction, predation or luring) involves access to children, time to invest and interpersonal skills and is facilitated by the perceived anonymity of the Internet user. The increasing number of young people using social media makes grooming children easier for those with an interest in child sexual abuse. Stages in the grooming of children online have been described as dynamic, complex and multi-faceted. The dynamism of grooming behaviours mean no single modus operandi dominates, nor that offenders have similar goals or proceed towards those goals along similar paths. Further, grooming on the internet has both similarities and dissimilarities to "real world" grooming (for instance sexual themes often are introduced more quickly). Various pathways have been developed to describe grooming behaviours, and serve as heuristics to formulate law enforcement strategies to interdict people engaged in grooming behaviour. The role of law enforcement is to develop technological skills and strategies to identify offenders, understand their behavior, investigate offences and protect young people from those who have a sexual interest in them. This paper outlines the challenges raised by people grooming children on the internet, and the use of child pornography and reviews law enforcement strategies to restrict such behaviour.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|