New technologies, new victims: Internet offending

Topic Selected: Crime and Justice

General Article icon Type: General Article

The Internet offending landscape remains unclear with limited research in this area. This article aims to outline some of the current challenges in this area. New technologies refer to websites, social media, apps and devices, such as smartphones. Some young people’s actions online result in them becoming involved in offending behaviour, or finding themselves vulnerable to the behaviours of others.


NSPCC/ChildLine’s experience

NSPCC/ChildLine have reported a 65% increase in contact from young people, adults and professionals regarding new technologies. Contacts recorded include a 168% increase in reports of online sexual abuse. Of those young people who have contacted NSPCC their experiences include:

  • 12% cyber-stalking
  • 12% unwanted sexual messages
  • 8% asked to send or respond to a sexual message.


Non-contact offending behaviour

The Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 defines

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