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Police officers' perceptions of the challenges involved in internet child exploitation investigation

Powell, Martine B., Cassematis, Peter, Benson, Mairi S., Smallbone, Stephen and Wortley, Richard 2014, Police officers' perceptions of the challenges involved in internet child exploitation investigation, Policing : an international journal of police strategies and management, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 543-557, doi: 10.1108/PIJPSM-08-2013-0080.

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Title Police officers' perceptions of the challenges involved in internet child exploitation investigation
Author(s) Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B. orcid.org/0000-0001-5092-1308
Cassematis, Peter
Benson, Mairi S.
Smallbone, Stephen
Wortley, Richard
Journal name Policing : an international journal of police strategies and management
Volume number 37
Issue number 3
Start page 543
End page 557
Total pages 15
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 1363-951X
Keyword(s) child pornography
ICE investigation
internet child exploitation
work challenges
workplace stressors
Summary Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore police officers’ perceptions of the challenges and work stressors of working in Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigation.

Design/methodology/approach
Participants were a heterogeneous sample of 32 ICE investigators across nine Australian jurisdictions. Officers’ perceptions of ICE work were elicited via individual, open-ended, anonymous, telephone interviews, which focused on both the nature and impact of work-related stressors and challenges.

Findings
Thematic analysis revealed that viewing ICE material was not perceived to be a major stressor or particularly traumatic facet of ICE investigation. Rather, the challenges related to three areas; work relationships, workload and resources and the physical environment. Participants also suggested some improvements to their work environment which could reduce the impact of these challenges.

Practical implications
The stressors identified by ICE investigators in this study place physical, psychological and social restrictions on investigative capacity. Modifications to the workplace environment that facilitate more effective professional collaboration, reduce workload and enhance investigator efficiency and functionality of the physical work environment would likely reduce the potential for harm associated with ICE investigation and improve ICE investigators’ capacity to perform their role.

Originality/value
This is the first study to use a broad research framework to examine the full range of stressors that ICE investigators face (both organisational and operational). The findings are important for developing comprehensive theories regarding workplace traumatisation as well as holistic intervention models to assist the prevention and management of stress related to ICE investigation.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/PIJPSM-08-2013-0080
Field of Research 170104 Forensic Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Emerald
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065433

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in TR Web of Science
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Created: Tue, 19 Aug 2014, 14:56:14 EST by Jane Moschetti

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.