Actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child's guard and inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with the child, or exploitation e.g. Child Labour.
OCG Child grooming may be used to lure minors into illicit businesses such as child prostitution or the production of child pornography.
Involves: Psychological manipulation in the form of positive reinforcement, foot-in-the-door tactics, using activities that are typically legal but later lead to illegal activities.
Why’s this done?
This is done to gain the child's trust as well as the trust of those responsible for the child's well-being. A trusting relationship with the family means the child's parents are less likely to believe potential accusations.
Michael Williams used Facebook and Bebo to groom 500 known victims however he admitted that in fact there are up to 1,000 children in total which he groomed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1282157/Facebook-grooming-How-pervert-postman-used-site-groom-hundreds-children.html
James Jenkins, was jailed for two and a half years after grooming a 14 year old boy online.
Peter Chapman sexually abused and murdered Ashleigh Hall 17, after meeting her through facebook.
R v T (2005) , the appellant, aged 43, had pretended to befriend a nine-year-old girl, but had done very little with her before she became suspicious and reported his approaches. He had a number of previous convictions (including one for rape) and was described as a "relentless, predatory paedophile". The Court of Appeal upheld a longer than commensurate sentence of eight years' imprisonment with an extended licence period of two years.
In the UK there is legislation in place against it (s15, Sexual Offences Act 2003, England & Wales)
The govt has set up an organisation called the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP). formed in April 2006. CEOP work both nationally and internationally to bring online child sex offenders, including those involved in the production, distribution and viewing of child pornography, to the UK courts. http:// www.ceop.police.uk /
What does this tell us about Internet regulation?
Regulation of the internet has been increased and there is a lot in place to protect children.