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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-17135: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 8 June 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what research it has undertaken to understand how grooming takes place.

Answered by: Maree Todd 22 June 2018

The Scottish Government has not undertaken research specifically looking at the question of how ‘grooming’ takes place. However, a range of research exists looking at the question of how, in particular, grooming of children for sexual exploitation takes place.

For example, In 2012, the European Commission Safer Internet Plus Programme funded a project which comprised of experts from across Europe and was tasked with meeting the following research objectives:

  • describe the behaviour of both offenders who groom and young people who are ‘groomed’,
  • describe how information, communication technology (ICT) may facilitate online grooming,
  • identify how young people are selected and prepared by online groomers for abuse online,
  • contribute to the development of prevention initiatives aimed at parents and young people.

Barnardo's has undertaken research that identifies the demographic characteristics of children who were ‘groomed’ for sexual exploitation and the relationship between the abuser and child, and the NSPCC have undertaken research on the impact that ‘grooming’ for sexual abuse has on children.

The Online Grooming Communication (OGC) Project at Swansea University is carrying out an examination of the language used by groomers to lure children, to help understand the process better and develop effective interventions to detect and prevent online grooming.