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Online Offending Behaviour Toolkit: June 2020


  1. Prevention Leaflets (Stop-It-Now) – Page 2
  2. Internet Keep Safe Plan (Tay Project) – Page 3
  3. Online sexual offending during COVID-19: a brief guide for staff, Staying Safe Online during COVID-19 & My Plan (CISSO)      Pages 3 and 4
  4. Working with adolescents at increased risk of technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour during COVID-19: A guide for staff (Barnardo’s, Halt Project & Stop-It-Now) – Page 4
  5. Helpful additional links – Pages 4 & 5

Stop It Now! Scotland Prevention Resources.

Stop It Now! Scotland is committed to supporting front line professionals at this challenging time.

This involves ensuring that professionals have access to up to date, practical resources that can be used with service users to help prevent child sexual abuse. While families are quarantined many children will face immediate risks in their own homes, and opportunities to report abuse or seek help are reduced. In addition to this, while schools are closed many children will spend longer periods of unsupervised time online, which increases risks of online harm. Ensuring that parents have advice and information to help them prevent sexual abuse both online and offline is essential at this present time, as is ensuring that adults who are worried they may present a risk of sexual harm to children have access to advice and information about how to control and manage their behaviour and make better choices.

Our Upstream Prevention Pack includes 6 e-leaflets for professionals and those they work with.  Click on the link below and it will take you to the website so you can access all the resources as and when you need them. 


The leaflets include:

  • New general leaflet for professionals about services Stop It Now! provides, including case consultation to professionals and how to make a referral.
  • ‘Services for you’: leaflet on services and resources we provide to individuals who are worried about committing a sexual offence or re-offending. Written for criminal justice social workers, professionals involved with offender management and mental health / counselling professionals who work with adults worried about sexual thoughts or feelings towards children.
  • ‘Services for families’: leaflet on prevention services and resources we provide. Written for  child protection professionals working directly with families where there is a risk of harm to children e.g. children and families social workers, teachers, third sector organisations etc.
  • ‘Identifying Signs and Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse’: Guide for parents and carers, including advice on what to do if they are worried about risk to a child or if a child discloses.
  • ‘Cyber Resilience and Internet Safety’: A Guide for Parents and Carers. Includes speaking to your child about their online life, helping build children’s understanding of safety online and what to do if you are worried about risks to your child online.
  •  ‘What’s The Problem’ – Scottish update of guide for parents and carers worried their child has sent or received sexual images, has accessed online pornography or has been arrested for accessing indecent images of children.

All resources signpost readers to our Upstream project theupstreamproject.org.uk and our online resource that enable adults in Scotland to prevent child sexual abuse and protect the next child, and our confidential and anonymous UK Stop It Now! Helpline (0808 1000 900).

Hard copies of leaflets may be available on request. Contact: scotland@stopitnow.org.uk

Internet Keep Safe Plan (Tay Project).

This tool was put together by Jo Melrose and Scott Brownlee. Both are social workers practicing within the Tay Project, a Dundee-based service covering Tayside specialising in community rehabilitative work with men convicted of sexual offences.  The tool was developed as a framework for encouraging individuals to assume responsibility for their safe use of the internet during the public health related ‘lockdown’.  For any further queries about the project please contact Lucy Coleman Team Manager: lucy.coleman@dundeecity.gov.uk

Keep Safe Plan – Internet specific KSP activity.docx


Online sexual offending during COVID-19: a brief guide for staff, Staying Safe Online during COVID-19 & My Plan (CISSO).

The Community Intervention Service for Sexual Offending (CISSO) is a City of Edinburgh Council social work project. It supports the work of Criminal Justice Social Workers across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scottish Borders in working with adults who have been convicted of sexual offences. The service aims to enhance and help develop practice in the field thereby contributing towards community safety and the protection of children and adults.

For any further queries about the project please contact either Steve Harvey, Senior Social Worker, Steven.harvey@edinburgh.gov.uk, or Stewart Stobie, Senior Practitioner, Stewart.Stobie@edinburgh.gov.uk  

Along with many other organisations and agencies, CISSO have been alert to the possibility that the specific circumstances of the COVID-19 lockdown could produce a ‘perfect storm’ of situational risk factors leading to an increase in online sexual offending. As part of the project’s remit to support the work of justice social work staff in managing this risk, some guidance and materials have been developed. These include:

  • ‘Online sexual offending during COVID-19: a brief guide for staff’ – This document provides: a brief overview of some of the thinking as to why there may be an increased risk of online sexual offending during the pandemic and the emerging evidence of this; a framework that might be helpful for thinking about which service users may be ‘at increased risk’; as well as some pointers on what staff can do in response. The guide has been written specifically for a Criminal Justice Social Work audience and assumes previous training and experience in working with adults with sexual convictions, including having been trained in the Stable and Acute 2007 assessment tools.

Online sexual offending during COVID-19 A brief guide for staff.docx

  • ‘Staying Safe Online during COVID-19’ – this is a Pdf handout that justice staff can use with clients that they are supervising (sent electronically or through the post, if face-to-face meetings are not possible). The handout offer some tips on finding positive ways of coping and in managing behaviour online. It also invites him to draw up a personal internet safety plan or review an existing plan considering his situation in COVID-19 lockdown. There are 4 help-sheets at the end with suggested ways of managing psychological distress.

CJ stay safe online May 2020 V3.pdf

  • ‘My Plan’ – this is a template for a personal internet safety plan and is intended to sit alongside the above handout. It is in a Microsoft Word format to allow men to electronically write a plan.

CJ stay safe online My Plan May 2020.docx


Working with adolescents at increased risk of technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour during COVID-19: A guide for staff (Barnardo’s, Halt Project & Stop-It-Now)

This guidance has been put together by way of a collaboration between David Russell and Stuart Allardyce to help support those working with young people displaying SHB during the ongoing pandemic.

David is a Senior practitioner with Barnardo’s Early Intervention Service (BEIS) Barnardo’s Scotland (south east) specialising in harmful sexual behaviour and child sexual abuse/exploitation.  David has years of experience in providing assessments and interventions for vulnerable children, adolescents and adults.  David has also created and delivered a variety of training inputs for Barnardo’s South east locality, City of Edinburgh council and a variety of external agencies. He also currently sits on the NOTA Scotland executive committee. 

Stuart is a social worker who has specialised over the last 20 years in working with young people who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour as well as children affected by abuse. He is Director of the child protection charity Stop it Now! Scotland and manager of the Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse project (ESCA). Additionally, he is vice chair of the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA), chair of the NOTA policy and practice committee and a visiting researcher at Strathclyde University. He was a member of the Scottish Government’s Expert Working Group on preventing sexual offending amongst adolescents. He is co- author of ‘Working with Children and Young People who Have Displayed Harmful Sexual Behaviour’ Dunedin Press (2018) along with several other peer reviewed articles and book chapters in the sexual violence field.

Adolescence technology assisted harmful sexual behaviour (TA-HSB).docx


Helpful additional links

The below links may also be of interest in terms of information and reference:


This is an NSPCC site that is full of information on social networks, apps and games, online safety and advice, and tips and guidance for keeping children safe online.  The descriptions of different online apps and perceived risks was thought to be really helpful for CJSW staff monitoring devices and knowing what’s okay for individuals to be accessing and what may be risky.


This is the RMA website and the link takes you to the 3 sets of guidelines for:

  1. The Framework for Risk Assessment, Management and Evaluation (FRAME) are the agreed standards and guidelines for risk practice in Criminal Justice in Scotland.
  2. The Standards and Guidelines for Risk Assessment relate to the preparation of a Risk Assessment Report in cases where an Order for Lifelong Restriction is being considered.
  3. The Standards and Guidelines for Risk Management relate to the management of individuals who are subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction. They have also been developed for the assessment and management of others who presents a risk of serious harm.


This is a further RMA link that takes you to the Risk Assessment Tools Evaluation Directory