Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, attended a warrant visit with the Cyber and Digital Crime Unit (CDCU) this week. The Cyber and Digital Crime Unit officially launched in May 2019 to lead and assist on investigations where technology has been used to further criminal gain. The CDCU focusses on tackling crimes from fraud to sexual exploitation. The PCC attended to gain a better understanding of how the Officers operate when out on a warrant visit or arrest.
Investigations are initiated from intelligence received by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) or from another Constabulary. Significant work is then done to gather evidence, identify the possible suspect and where they are based. Before any visits take place, all officers and civilian staff are briefed at the CDCU. Once out, Officers gain entry to the residence, explain why they are there then a search is conducted for electronics that may have been used to commit the offence. An Officer sits with the residents while the search is being performed for the occupants safeguarding and welfare and catalogs any technology found in the dwelling. The Officers of the CDCU take the technology away to examine.
The warrant took place in the North of the county with the Police and Crime Commissioner observing the officers within the residencies. Technology, including phones and laptops, were seized at the scene.
Speaking on the visit, PCC, Peter McCall, said: This is a good opportunity to highlight the excellent work that our Cyber Investigation Unit are doing to keep vulnerable people and especially children, safe. I hope it sends a strong message to anyone who may be tempted to break the law online including viewing illegal images, that they will be pursued by the Police who work collaboratively at both a regional and national level.
It is also extremely important that we make the point about the need to dedicate resource to unseen crimes and that not all police work is conducted in uniform and in full view of the public, indeed, that much of the high threat crime against vulnerable people is tackled by unseen police work.
“Cyber crime is one of my main priorities and I know that it affects so many of us – mostly in terms of fraud – which is why I am eager to see how the CDCU approaches these investigations.
“The CDCU is still a relatively new unit but they are already having a huge impact are doing a great job to protect young children and the vulnerable and I would urge anyone who has been a target or may have information around a cyber-related crime to contact the Police at 101 or to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.”
Detective Inspector Ian Harwood, Cumbria Constabulary’s Cyber & Digital Crime Unit, said:
“This is a dedicated unit which works meticulously behind-the-scenes to tackle online offences, track offenders and keep people safe.
“Many of the crimes we deal with are unseen to the public, with offenders using online technology to commit a range of offences including fraud or exploitation of children.
“Our specialist officers use an extensive array of investigative techniques and strategies to identify offenders and the evidence to bring them to justice.”