Proactive Undercover Policing and Sexual Crimes against Children on the Internet

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Trine Thygesen Vendius

The Internet has made it easier for child sex offenders to get into direct contact with their victims, including the exchanging and distributing of “child pornography”. On a European level, child sexual exploitation is one of the three main priorities of EC3, Europol's Cybercrime Centre. Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children further prescribes that the EU Member States shall ensure that sexual offences against children are effectively investigated. However, when it comes to investigative measures such as undercover policing, national police forces are bound by national rules. This article concludes that undercover policing is a necessary investigative tool in order to detect and infiltrate the networks of these sexual offenders. Departing from a legal dogmatic method this article first examines relevant EU legal instruments. It then takes a comparative approach describing national differences in investigating sexual offences against children. Finally, it discusses whether common rules in the area are foreseeable within the existing frameworks of European law.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review of Organised Crime
Volume2
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)6-24
Number of pages19
ISSN2312-1653
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2015

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