The Welsh Government and Hwb are proud partners of Swansea University's Project DRAGON-S (Developing Resistance Against Grooming Online – Spot and Shield).
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Project DRAGON-S aims to tackle the challenges faced by prevention and prosecution agencies in relation to the language, volume and sophistication of communications used by groomers.
This innovative project is led by Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and brings together international experts in linguistics, artificial intelligence (AI), criminology, public policy and psychology to develop two inter-related, state-of the art and ethically-responsible tools for professionals working to detect and prevent online grooming – Spotter and Shield.
The Spotter tool will integrate linguistics and AI to enable police forensic teams to detect online grooming content by pinpointing the manipulative language tactics that groomers use: from making children feel emotionally isolated to communicating sexual intent implicitly and explicitly to them. This will help law enforcement teams to identify and assess online grooming exchanges holding significant potential for evidence building and the prosecution of offenders.
The Shield tool will provide research-based, customised training for child safeguarding professionals to help them understand groomers’ and children’s communicative behaviour during online grooming. The ability to spot these communicative indicators increases the ability and confidence of professionals to help children and young people at risk from online sexual abuse and exploitation, to recognise the signs of grooming and guide them to appropriate help and support.
For more information about Project DRAGON-S please visit Developing Resistance Against Grooming Online – Spot and Shield (DRAGON-S) - Swansea University
Professor Lorenzo-Dus has also written a specially commissioned ‘View from the experts’ article for ‘Keeping safe online’ on Hwb.
Preventing online child sexual abuse - our work with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
Read this 'Views from the experts' article to find out more from Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, about their role in making the internet a safer place for children across the world and the research behind their awareness raising campaigns.