Legislative and Policy Responses to Grooming

Anne‐Marie McAlinden

in 'Grooming' and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583720
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191758263 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

Legislative and Policy Responses to Grooming

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This chapter examines the regulatory frameworks on pre-employment vetting and barring as well as the offence of ‘Meeting a Child Following Grooming/Certain Preliminary Contact/for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation’, which have been designed to pre-emptively manage grooming in each of the four jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It argues that there are a range of evidential and practical difficulties intrinsic to preventing, targeting, and sanctioning grooming behaviour solely through legal and policy frameworks on ‘risk’. It draws out the significant variations between jurisdictions which may have pose additional challenges for law enforcement. It also examines the various transnational mechanisms and protocols designed to combat on-line grooming. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the major themes emerging from the primary research, including the limitations of pre-emptive policies on risk, work with victims, inter-agency and cross-jurisdictional contexts, and problems unique to jurisdictions.

Keywords: vetting and barring; grooming; risk; evidential difficulties; law enforcement; transnational mechanisms; victims; inter-agency; cross-jurisdictional

Chapter.  21200 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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