The widespread use of the internet has lead to public concern about individuals using this new technology to commit sexual offences. In recent years, laws have been introduced to protect children from online sexual exploitation, and increasing numbers of online sexual offenders are being processed by the criminal justice system. The most common sexual offences committed online are related to the possession and distribution of child pornography, or soliciting youth for in-person sexual contact. There has been considerable debate about whether the internet has created a new type of sexual offender, or whether internet sexual offenders are simply typical sexual offenders using the current technology.
This article describes findings from research funded by the Metropolitan Police and Crimestoppers which aimed to explore children's online experiences.
A sex offender registry is a system in various countries designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the activities of sex offendersincluding those who have completed their criminal sentences. In some jurisdictions, where sex offender registration can, registration is accompanied by residential address notification requirements. In many jurisdictions, registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including on housing.
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