Online Child Sexual Abuse: Grooming, Policing and Child Protection in a Multi-Media World addresses the complex, multi-faceted and, at times, counter-intuitive relationships between online grooming behaviours, risk assessment, police practices, and the actual danger of subsequent abuse in the physical world. Online child sexual abuse has become a high profile and important issue in public life. When children are victims, there is clearly intense public and political interest and concern. Sex offenders are society’s most reviled deviants and the object of seemingly undifferentiated public fear and loathing. This may be evidenced in ongoing efforts to advance legislation, develop police tactics and to educate children and their carers to engage with multi-media and the internet safely. Understanding how sex offenders use the internet and how the police and the government are responding to their behaviour is central to the development of preventative measures. Based on extensive ethnographic research conducted with the police and a specialist paedophile unit, here Elena Marellozzo presents an informed analysis of online child sexual abuse: of the patterns and characteristics of online grooming, and of the challenges and techniques that characterize its policing. Connecting theory, research and practice in the field of policing, social policy, victimology and criminology, this book adds significantly to our understanding and knowledge of the problem of online child sexual abuse, the way in which victims are targeted and how this phenomenon is, and might be, policed.
1. Introduction 2. A Sociological Analysis of Real and Virtual Abuse 3. Young People’s Use of the Internet: Opportunity, Risk and Media Responses 4. The International Legislative Context of Online Sexual Abuse 5. Collaborative Efforts to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse Online 6. Observing Sex Offenders’ Online Interaction and Assessing Risk: An Empirical Overview 7. Sex Offenders’ Online Activities and Behaviour – A Review of the Key Findings 8. Conclusions