Over the Internet, Under the Radar : Prevention of Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Scotland

Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice, Barnardo's Scotland (2017) Over the Internet, Under the Radar : Prevention of Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in Scotland. [Report]

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    Abstract

    In early 2016 the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) facilitated two seminars for professionals from a wide range of backgrounds who encountered issues around adolescent risk taking behaviour online and e-safety.  Anonymised cases relating to ‘sexting’, sexual exploitation online and downloading indecent images of children were discussed. These allowed the group to explore examples of good practice as well as identify some of the ‘pinch points’ in current processes and outline the gaps in professional knowledge and practice.  Key findings included significant gaps in relation to policy, guidance, training and practitioner support that impacted on initial responses and decision making, when young people get into trouble through their online behaviour, and impaired high quality assessment and intervention. Cases involving online risk taking behaviour often raised issues around values and foregrounded complex ethical concerns. There were significant gaps in relation to research around higher tariff adolescent behaviours online.