Research highlight: ISEC Project – role of police forces in dealing with online child sexual abuse

08 Nov 2016 UK SIC

The UKCCIS Evidence Group’s latest Research Highlight provides a summary of the results of an online questionnaire study conducted by the ISEC Project to examine police perceptions, practice and training related to online child sexual abuse.

The Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies’ (CATS) investigation, commissioned by the EU, focuses on understanding the process and procedures across international boundaries and roles within police forces in dealing with online child sexual abuse (CSA) crimes.

The work sought to encourage better partnerships between law enforcement and industry in developing and advocating good practice models in the area of online CSA. Through a better understanding of policing processes, this will ultimately assist the wider community of stakeholders in developing effective prevention techniques, assist with timely detection and deterrence, and add to the growing research foundation.

The policing stream of the project had three primary yet interlinked objectives:

  • To clarify police understanding and process in engaging in the investigation of online CSA across roles and countries
  • Highlight areas of improved training and practice within policing online CSA
  • Develop a set of recommendations and guidelines for police and associated bodies in dealing with these crimes.

The analysis provided key evidence illustrating the widespread nature of policing online CSA. It also indicated the importance of supporting widespread engagement with online crimes perpetrated against children of a sexual nature, as well as informing recommendations supported by empirical data related to training and future practice.

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