Seems that I was sleeping July 2009 when this law was passed here in Sweden. I have been watching it’s progress with interest since 2006. Now it is big news on the Swedish radio. It has taken a long time since inception for it to become a law. This type of law is already found in the UK, in the U.S., and in Australia. There could be other countries where such a law exists too of which I am not aware of.
For example in the UK proving that a child is being ‘groomed’ online and thus at risk in a court of law was impossible before 2003 in the UK unless some physical action was taken by the paedophile to meet the child and that the abuser was carrying sufficient evidence implying that sexual abuse would occur, e.g. condoms. In the UK the Amendments to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (s.15) often referred to as the ‘antigrooming bill’ corrected this discrepancy. This act makes new provisions about sexual offences, their prevention and the protection of children from harm, sexual acts and connected purposes.
So back to Sweden. It has become big news because of the criticism that is being thrown at this new law. The law is ineffective. The maximum penalty for an offender is either a fine or a maximum of one year in prison which means that prosecutors and police are not allowed to request critical information from telecoms. The crime is not considered as serious.
One Reply to “Anti-grooming law in Sweden”
It’s tragic, really. The criticism against this law was massive when it was first proposed, but it was still passed. One could say that it is better then nothing, but I would say ohterwise: an ineffectual law is worse, since it reduces the publics confidence in the legal system.