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North Yorkshire Police launch new online abuse team

North Yorkshire Police car badge

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 6:16am 15th August 2018.

North Yorkshire Police now has a specialist Online Abuse Team working across the county to identify and support investigations into online child abuse. 

The new team has been established in response to a national pilot study that highlighted recommendations to all forces which North Yorkshire Police has adopted and are expected to speed up investigation time, improve evidence gathering, and increase the rate of guilty pleas.

The team will focus on investigations relating to images of child abuse and will investigate urgent cases referred to North Yorkshire Police by the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, cases uncovered by the proactive work of North Yorkshire Police, and cases referred to them by other forces.

They will also provide specialist, expert knowledge and support to officers across the force who are investigating online child abuse.

The new team forms part of the Digital Intelligence and Investigation Department and joins the Cybercrime Unit, Digital Forensics Unit, Mobile Phone Unit and Digital Media Investigators who make up the department.

The team is split across York, Harrogate, Scarborough and Northallerton, close to the force's Investigation Hubs and Serious Crime Teams so they can provide on-the-spot advice and input into ongoing investigations.

Detective Inspector Darrin Knight who heads the Digital Intelligence and Investigation Department, said:

"Technology is constantly changing, making it easier for online paedophiles to view images of abuse, we need to stay one step ahead of them. The new team gives us the resources to focus on this priority area of crime and further develop our expertise and knowledge. Combined with the skills of the wider department, we'll provide a comprehensive and specialist capability across the force.

"Everyone shares our revulsion at images of child abuse. Each image represents a child who has been through the worst abuse imaginable. By looking at them, offenders are creating a demand, and we are determined to disrupt that demand and safeguard as many children as possible."

Julia Mulligan, elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, added:

"Caring for the vulnerable is one of the four priorities for North Yorkshire Police, and this new team will help ensure victims of some of the worst crimes imaginable are supported and protected, with offenders brought to justice, wherever possible.

"While North Yorkshire is often cast as a safe, rural idyll, these crimes can happen anywhere. It is important parents, carers, teachers and any adult with responsibility for children looks out for the signs of abuse and don't hold back from reporting their concerns. The sooner someone can intervene and make a young person safe the better, and this team can then do the rest."

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