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Identifying Victims in Child Abusive Material – a study of the Swedish Police

Conference paper
Authors Marie Eneman
Published in Stockholm Criminology Symposium. 19-21 June 2017
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Subject categories Sociology, Sociology of Law, Criminology


The increased availability and volume of child abuse material in the digital society has given rise to a large number of challenges for the police and places new demands on the organisation of victim identification. A crucial part of police work in relation to child abuse material should consist of victim identification in order to guarantee protection and treatment for the exposed child. The material constitutes a record of a committed crime and the identification of both the offender and victim must be in focus during the investigation. With this as a background, the project aims to develop knowledge about the practice within the police where victim identification in relation to child abuse material occur. The project is interested in how these practices are constructed, organised and the consequences they give rise to in form of different tensions and challenges. Following three research questions are focused: (1) How is the practice of victim identification in relation to child abuse material organised within the police? (2) What challenges could be identified in relation to the police practice of victim identification? (3) How do the increased availability and volume of child abuse material affect how the police organise their work with victim identification? The questions are studied through individual interviews with police officers. The majority of the interviews are conducted within the Swedish police in combination with a smaller number of interviews conducted with police officers working at Interpol to include a broader international perspective on victim identification strategies in relation to child abuse material in the digital society.

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