Police Officers’ Perceptions of their Reactions to Viewing Internet Child Exploitation Material
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The purpose of this paper is to extend prior research on the impact of working in the area of Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) investigation by exploring ICE investigators' perceptions of and reactions to viewing child exploitation material. A diverse sample of 32 ICE investigators across all nine Australian jurisdictions individually participated in anonymous in-depth interviews. Participants were asked to discuss their subjective experience of viewing ICE material and its effect on them and to describe a case that evoked an adverse reaction, the nature of the reaction, and the characteristics of the material that contributed to it. The results revealed that ICE investigators experience salient emotional, cognitive, social and behavioural consequences due to viewing ICE material and their reactions can be short and long term. The degree of negative impact appears to vary markedly across individuals, types and content of material and viewing context, with variation based on individual, case-related and contextual factors both in and outside the workplace.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice