Children safeguarded, warrants executed and arrests made during week of action by Cumbria’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit

Cumbria Police’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit ensured the safety of six children during a week of action focussing on online sex offending.

Detectives from the dedicated team also executed two warrants, made two arrests and seized a number of devices.

This was all part of a week of intensification focussed on those suspected of being involved in accessing indecent images of children.

The action was taken as part of regional and national campaign to tackle online sexual exploitation.

Ahead of the week of action, it saw the constabulary share messaging on social media produced by the Stop It Now! campaign, which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse.

Detective Inspector Fiona Gray leads Cumbria’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit.

She said: “Viewing images of child abuse online is not a victimless crime.

“Behind every image is a real child who is suffering devastating sexual abuse. Viewing images fuels demand for the actual abuse.

“We are committed to targeting individuals who view and share child sexual abuse images, as well as those who communicate inappropriately with children online.

“We will do our upmost to ensure such offenders are brought to justice.”

Other action during the week included a suspect being charged and a further interview of another suspect.

DI Gray said anyone worried about their own behaviour should seek support.

She added: “If you haven’t been caught already, it doesn’t mean you won’t.

“Law enforcement is always one step ahead and the consequences for you and your family and friends are significant.

“You could lose your job, your family, face imprisonment – and be registered as a sex offender.

“But help is available and change is possible. It is never too late to seek help.

“Anyone worried about their own or a loved one’s online behaviour should seek support from the Stop It Now! helpline.”

Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, funds the Cyber and Digital Crime Unit. Speaking on the week of action, he said: “Technology has made it easier for perpetrators to gain access to images of vulnerable children, among other online crimes.

“The Cyber and Digital Crime Unit, is delivering essential policing  to catch perpetrators of online crime and to safeguard vulnerable people.  Whilst this work is necessarily unseen by the public, it goes on every day and reaches to all parts of the county and beyond.

“I hope that those who commit cyber crimes including online abuse of children understand that the police will pursue you and if you are caught with indecent images of children you will be brought to justice.

“I would urge anyone indulging in online crimes to seek help or face the consequences, or if you are aware of someone looking at images of vulnerable children to report it to the Police on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”


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