Room C211, College Building, Hendon campus
Julia Davidson, Professor of Criminology at Middlesex University Law School, delivers her inaugural lecture with an introduction from Professor Waqar Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic.
The Evolution of Children’s Online Behaviour and Experience of Online Harm: Reflections on Research with young people, perpetrators and practitioners
In less than two decades, the Internet has moved from being a communications medium used by some to an everyday tool used in every aspect of our lives. The technological aspects of the Internet are developing at the same high speed as the number of users globally. The Internet provides a social context for us to meet with others and to exchange information on a scale that past generations would not have thought possible. International research suggests that, although access may vary, children and young people are avid and enthusiastic users of technology regardless of culture, religion and geographical location. Research in the UK has demonstrated that children are increasingly using handheld technology (OFCOM, 2014), our research with young people suggests that technology is increasingly an integral aspect of their lives (Webster, Davidson & Bifuclo, 2014 forthcoming). This lecture will consider the impact of new technology upon children’s lives and will go on to reflect upon online harm, set in the context of key policy issues including children’s access to justice, mandatory reporting of child abuse and recent high profile cases. The lecture draws upon personal reflection and a substantial body of national and international research with children, practitioners and offenders.
Julia Davidson, PhD is Professor of Criminology at Middlesex University and is Co-Director of the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS www.cats-rp.org.uk ), she is also Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is one of the UKs foremost experts on child abuse, serious offending and online abuse. She plays an active role in key national committees such as the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (Chairs the Evidence Group) and provides expert advice to international organisations such as UNICEF, Europol, the US Sentencing Commission, the US Department of Justice and the UN ITU, she is also a member of the Interpol Specialist Crimes against Children Group. She is also a Trustee of ECPAT UK.
She has directed a considerable amount of research spanning 25 years in the criminal justice area and is known for her work with serious offenders, child victims of abuse, the police and the judiciary, recently she has focused upon online child abuse. She has recently co-directed the first European study exploring Internet offenders’ online grooming/luring practices (funded by the European Commission Safer Internet Programme), the study included partners from Italy, Norway and Belgium www.europeanonlinegroomingproject.com. Findings from this study have informed UK sentencing policy. Professor Davidson has also conducted research into the experience of child victims in the investigative process on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Other research has been undertaken on behalf of Crimestoppers, the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the National Audit Office to explore child safety on the internet.
Professor Davidson works with countries, in developing child Internet legislative and practice safety frameworks where Internet usage is growing. She has recently aided the Kingdom of Bahrain to develop a National Child Internet Safety framework and is currently co-directing research exploring cyberbullying in Qatar (comparison with the UK), a project funded by the Qatar National Research Foundation, and is currently working with teachers and other professionals in South America (Suriname) on child online protection.
Professor Davidson has worked extensively with the media and has published widely in the abuse and Internet safety area, she has written 4 books and many academic articles. She has a PhD in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and was made Honorary Research Fellow at Royal Holloway University of London in May 2010 and she is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Professor Davidson provides regular expert advice on criminal justice issues to the media and has recently worked on documentaries for BBC R4 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pc2p5 and ITN (she has worked with ITV Evening News, the ITV News Channel, BBC News Channel , BBC Radio Four Woman’s Hour, BBC Five Live Radio, BBC 2, BBC Northern Ireland, C4 and Sky News).
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