Online grooming of youngsters via chat rooms and webcams is an area COST team officers are encountering more and more.To establish a good relationship with a child and the child's family, child groomers might do several things: They might try to gain the child's or parents' trust by befriending them, with the goal of easy access to the child.Because the grooming of children (although it was not known at the time under those terms) in the UK had been proscribed as early as the 1910 Convention on the White Slave trade the idea of localised grooming was coined around 1990.
Offenders often act together, establishing a relationship with a child or children before sexually exploiting them.
Some victims of ‘street grooming’ may believe that the offender is in fact an older ‘boyfriend’; these victims introduce their peers to the offender group who might then go on to be sexually exploited as well.
At 1 January 2010 section 248e was added to the Dutch Criminal Code making (online) grooming of a child under 16 years old illegal.
The maximum punishment is 2 years of imprisonment or a fine of the fourth category.
The Rotherham sex grooming case saw in November 2010 various convictions of child sexual abusers.
In 2012, various members of the Rochdale sex trafficking gang were convicted on various counts.
In Costa Rica, since April 2013, the Criminal Code section 167 bis, makes it an offence to seduce a child by electronic means.
With penalties from one to 3 years of imprisonment for a person that, by any means attempt to establish an erotic or sexual communication with a child under 15 years old.
Child groomers might look for opportunities to have time alone with the child, which can be done by offering to babysit; the groomers may also invite the child for sleepovers, for opportunistic bed sharing.
Actions such as online communication have been defended by suspected offenders using the so-called "fantasy defense", in which those accused argue that they were only expressing fantasies and not plans of future behavior. S., case law draws a distinction between those two and some people accused of "grooming" have successfully used this defense.
Localised grooming is a form of sexual exploitation – previously referred to as ‘on street grooming’ in the media - where children have been groomed and sexually exploited by an offender, having initially met in a location outside their home.