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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Dale C. Spencer, Rosemary Ricciardelli, Dale Ballucci and Kevin Walby

Digital evidence is now infused in many (or arguably most) cases of sexual assault, which has refigured investigative tools, policing strategies and sources of cynicism…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital evidence is now infused in many (or arguably most) cases of sexual assault, which has refigured investigative tools, policing strategies and sources of cynicism for those working in sex crime units. Although cynicism, both its sources and affects, is widely studied among scholars of work and policing, little is known about how police working in sex crime units experience, mitigate and express cynicism. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap in understanding and explore the role of cynicism amongst investigators working in sex crime units.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this research gap, the authors conducted 70 semi-structured in-depth interviews and two focus groups with members of police services organizations across Canada working in sex crime units.

Findings

Examining sources of cynicism and emotional experiences, the authors reveal that officers in these units normalize and neutralize organizational and intra-organizational sources of cynicism, and cope with the potentially traumatizing and emotionally draining realities of undertaking this form of “dirty work.” The authors show that officer cynicism extends beyond offenders into organizational and operational aspects of their occupations and their lived experiences outside of work, which has implications for literature on police work, cynicism and digital policing.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the literature on cyber policing by, first, examining sex crimes unit member’s sources of cynicism in relation to sex crimes and the digital world and, second, by exploring sources of cynicism in police organizations and other branches in the criminal justice system. The authors examine how such cynicism seeps into relationships outside of the occupation. The authors’ contribution is in showing that cynicism related to police dirty work is experienced in relation to “front” and “back” regions (Dick, 2005) but also in multiple organizational and social spheres. The authors contribute to the extant literature on dirty work insofar as it addresses the underexplored dirty work associated with policing cyber environments and the morally tainted elements of such policing tasks.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Matt DeLisi, Daniel E. Caropreso, Alan J. Drury, Michael J. Elbert, Jerry L. Evans, Timothy Heinrichs and Katherine M. Tahja

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dark figure of crime among federal sex offenders from the USA to quantify crime victims and sex crime events among those with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dark figure of crime among federal sex offenders from the USA to quantify crime victims and sex crime events among those with no official criminal record.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data on 119 offenders selected from a five-year census of sex offenders selected from a federal probation jurisdiction in the Midwestern United States, descriptive, partial correlations, and ROC-AUC models were conducted.

Findings

In total, 69 percent of offenders self-reported a contact sexual offense during polygraph examination. In total, 34 offenders had zero official record of sexual abuse but non-zero self-reported history of sexual abuse. These 34 clients offended against 148 victims that potentially denoted a minimum number of 148 sex crime events, a median number of 1,480 sex crime events, a mean number of 32,101 sex crime events, and a maximum number of 827,552 sex crime events. Total paraphilias were not predictive of self-reported sexual offending but were strongly associated with prolific self-reported sexual offending.

Originality/value

The dark figure of sexual offending is enormous and the revelation of this information is facilitated by polygraph examination of federal sex offenders. Ostensibly non-contact sex offenders such as those convicted of possession of child pornography are very likely to have a history of contact sexual offending. Consistent with the containment model, polygraph examinations of the sexual history of offenders convicted of sexual offenses should be required to facilitate public safety.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Angeleke Elfes and Philip Birch

– The purpose of this paper is to examine operational policing practice with reference to reducing sex trafficking.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine operational policing practice with reference to reducing sex trafficking.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study in which in-depth structured interviews were conducted with state police officers in one state of Australia.

Findings

The paper reveals that state police officers have a good understanding of sex trafficking and are involved in reactive policing methods in order to reduce this crime type. The data set yields a limitation in proactive policing methods for reducing sex trafficking, primarily due to human and financial resources and the composition of state and federal laws and policing practices in Australia. Those interviewed also noted how sex trafficking can disguise itself as legitimate sex work.

Research limitations/implications

The effectiveness in operational practice at the local, national and international level in reducing sex trafficking can be enhanced through a more co-ordinated response to the problem. Recognition of better communication strategies and partnership working can support a reduction in sex trafficking as well as allowing those who are trafficked the status of “victim”.

Practical implications

To ensure those who are trafficked for sexual servitude are viewed and treated as victims within the law. To review how state police forces in Australia are resourced in order to proactively address sex trafficking. To ensure state police forces can engage in more proactive policing initiatives in order to prevent sex trafficking. Reflect on examples of good practice between federal and state police forces in Australia to implement a co-ordinated approach for combatting sex trafficking.

Originality/value

This is one of just a few studies examining organised crime from the perspective of law enforcement personnel within Australia.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1994

Hugh V. McLachlan and J.K. Swales

There is commonly said to be a sexual bias within the legal system. As Anderson (1976, p.350) points out: “The notion of a justice system whose agents typically exhibit a…

Abstract

There is commonly said to be a sexual bias within the legal system. As Anderson (1976, p.350) points out: “The notion of a justice system whose agents typically exhibit a “chivalrous” attitude towards female criminals (ie. because of their sex women are afforded more lenient treatment than men) has been set forth by several writers.” One such writer is Pollak (1950, p.151), who claims that: “Men hate to accuse women and thus indirectly to send them to their punishment, police officers dislike to arrest them, district attorneys to persecute them, judges and juries to find them guilty and so on.” Another is Cavan (1962, p.32), who writes: “…even in crime a certain degree of chivalry prevails. Some people dislike to report a woman criminal to the police and police are more likely to release women or turn a young woman over to her parents or release to a social agency than would be true for boys or men.” Others believe that there is an opposite sexual bias in the legal system. For instance, Sachs considers the various test cases in Britain on the question of whether, in law, women were to be regarded as “persons” and concludes that:

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 14 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2021

Alina Korn

Purpose: This study is concerned with media representation of crime in the Israeli press. It examines the pattern of offenses reported in two daily newspapers of seemingly…

Abstract

Purpose: This study is concerned with media representation of crime in the Israeli press. It examines the pattern of offenses reported in two daily newspapers of seemingly different characteristics, the “elitist” Haaretz and the “popular” Israel Hayom. Methodology/approach: Crime reports appeared in the news pages during November 2016 were content analyzed in both newspapers by using a coding scheme, which operationalized several variables relating to type of crime, characteristics of offenders and victims, and court proceedings. Findings: Violent and sex offenses featured disproportionately in the news reports in both newspapers, while conventional property offenses were under-reported relative to their prevalence in official crime statistics. In terms of the characteristics of offenders and victims, the vast majority of offenders portrayed in crime stories were adult Jewish males. Women were more likely to appear as victims of crime rather than perpetrators, and more likely to appear as victims of sex offenses rather than other offenses. Research limitations: This study was based on an analysis of crime stories which appeared in two newspapers during one-month period of time. Future research should extend the sample size and collect data from a longer period of time and from additional media outlets. Originality/value: Media coverage of crime stories has not yet been researched in Israel. Beyond the interest in the Israeli case or the potential contribution to comparative global knowledge, the value of the study may lie in expanding the lens of scholarship of media’s construction of crime.

Details

Mass Mediated Representations of Crime and Criminality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-759-3

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

John C. Navarro

To explain the persistent abhorrent perspective society holds of sex offenders, the concept of sex offenders, the evolution of salient sex offender legislation, and the…

Abstract

To explain the persistent abhorrent perspective society holds of sex offenders, the concept of sex offenders, the evolution of salient sex offender legislation, and the relationships between sex offenders and social control with a focus on the current and emerging socio-legal issues are discussed. As one of the most vilified criminal offenders, sex offenders are inextricably related to social control as demonstrated by the disproportionately imposed legal restrictions they have experienced compared to offenders without a history of sex crimes. Public support of excessive punishments toward sex offenders has been bolstered by societal depictions that have induced perceptions of sex offenders as monstrous beings.

Aversions toward sex offenders unfold when it is perceived that the solidarity of society is dissolute and volatile. During these periods of perceived social disintegration, mass media emerges as a source that can contextualize the depraved actions of sex offenders, though the media have arguably perverted their role as an educator and contributed to misinformation. Education and revised evaluative assessments of sexual recidivism are suggested as approaches to redefine how sex offenders should be portrayed, as a heterogeneous group of individuals that vary in their amenability to rehabilitative treatment.

Details

Political Authority, Social Control and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-049-9

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Peter Sproat

The article aims to describe the role of asset recovery in combating drug and people trafficking within the UK and the different means by which the proceeds of crime can…

Abstract

Purpose

The article aims to describe the role of asset recovery in combating drug and people trafficking within the UK and the different means by which the proceeds of crime can be taken away from such organised criminals.

Design/methodology/approach

The author uses official data on asset recovery to critically analyse both the policing of drug trafficking in the UK and the official discourse on the extent, value and costs to the country of the trafficking of women for sex by organised crime.

Findings

The article raises important questions about the credibility of the official estimates of the scale of drug trafficking by organised crime and/or the management and funding of those tasked with policing it within the UK.

Originality/value

The work provides either a more accurate guide on the extent, value and costs to the country of the trafficking of women for sex or a much needed antithesis to the official discourse on the topic.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Book part
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Marian Duggan

In England and Wales, legislation pertaining to hate crime recognizes hostility based on racial identity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability or…

Abstract

In England and Wales, legislation pertaining to hate crime recognizes hostility based on racial identity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity. Discussions abound as to whether this legislation should also recognize hostility based on gender or misogyny. Taking a socio-legal analysis, the chapter examines hate crime, gender-based victimization and misogyny alongside the impact of victim identity construction, access to justice and the international nature of gendered harm. The chapter provides a comprehensive investigation of gender-based victimization in relation to targeted hostility to assess the potential for its inclusion in hate crime legislation in England and Wales.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-221-8

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2016

Teela Sanders

Radical feminists position any forms of sex work as gender violence against individuals and more broadly for all women in society. I argue against the ideological stance…

Abstract

Radical feminists position any forms of sex work as gender violence against individuals and more broadly for all women in society. I argue against the ideological stance that sex work is inherently violent and as a result should be outlawed, setting out how this ideology and dogma has allowed structural factors to persist. In this paper, I argue that despite the unacceptable high levels of violence against sex workers across the globe, violence in sex work is not inevitable. Through a review of the literature as well as drawing on research from the United Kingdom, I deconstruct the myth of inevitable violence. In turn I argue that violence is dependent on three dynamics. First, environment: spaces in which sex work happens has an intrinsic bearing on the safety of those who work there. Second, the relationship to the state: how prostitution is governed in any one jurisdiction and the treatment of violence against sex workers by the police and judicial system dictates the very organization of the sex industry and the regulation, health and safety of the sex work communities. Third, I argue that social status and stigma have significant effects on societal attitudes toward sex workers and how they are treated. It is because of these interlocking structural, cultural, legal, and social dynamics that violence exists and therefore it is these exact dynamics that hold the solutions to preventing violence against sex workers. Toward the end of the paper, I examine the UK’s “Merseyside model” whereby police treat violence against sex workers as a hate crime. It is in these examples of innovative practice despite a national and international criminalization agenda against sex workers, that human rights against a sexual minority group can be upheld.

Details

Special Issue: Problematizing Prostitution: Critical Research and Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-040-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2011

Ryanne Colbert

Sex offenders and the laws concerning them represent a highly controversial and emotionally charged issue. Current efforts of legislation in the United States to manage…

Abstract

Sex offenders and the laws concerning them represent a highly controversial and emotionally charged issue. Current efforts of legislation in the United States to manage the increasing number of sex offenders being arrested and eventually released back into communities are inadequate to manage such a large population of offenders, and the effects of registration and notification laws are more detrimental than beneficial to the communities they intend to protect. This paper discusses the notion that a significant cause of the problem relates to the overly broad standards that are used to define who is to be charged as a sex offender. The term “sex offender” needs to be reserved for those individuals who best represent the meaning of the term, and the resources available for this issue should be directed towards the effective management of those offenders instead of being spread so thin amongst so many offenders who do not pose a serious threat to society that none of them are sufficiently supervised after release from incarceration. Furthermore, laws and federal guidelines regarding sex offender legislation needs to be based on empirical research findings instead of uniformed public pressure.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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