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Title: The trafficking of British children within the UK for sexual exploitation : a situational analysis
Author: Cockbain, E. P.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The trafficking of British children within the United Kingdom for the purposes of sexual exploitation has been recognised as a crime threat for over a decade. Yet, the issue has been subject to little research and remains poorly-understood. The aim of this doctoral research was to provide an in-depth empirical assessment of this crime that could inform future evidence-based counter-measures. Located within a situational framework, this research focused on the immediate opportunity-structures to this crime. Due to the under-developed research-base the research question was framed in broad and inclusive terms: ‘What situational factors and processes contribute to the internal sex trafficking of British children and impede official responses?’. A rich combination of sources was employed, including extensive police operational files, court records and original interviews with convicted offenders, police investigators and prosecutors. A series of seven studies were conducted to disentangle key situational aspects of this complex process crime. Cohesion was provided by a consistent focus on six of the earliest and largest internal child sex trafficking operations in the UK to date. Distinguishing characteristics of the crime process, offenders and victims were identified and the implications for crime-reduction were explored. Particular attention was paid to assessing how the crime’s idiosyncrasies translate into challenges for investigation and prosecution. Overall, the crime was shown to be an inherently social phenomenon embedded in a complex web of interpersonal interactions and associations. Group structures, processes and dynamics were shown to promote, provoke, facilitate, sustain and spread patterns of abuse and to impede official responses. This research makes novel contributions to underdeveloped aspects of the international literatures on human trafficking, child sexual abuse, group crime and situational crime research. Its conceptual and empirical contributions on internal child sex trafficking are expected to benefit on-going and future developments in policy and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available