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  1. ITV Report

The changing face of our police - how technology is transforming the way they fight crime

The woman at the head of Suffolk police's attempts to clamp down on cybercrime has described social media as the bane of her life.

Charlotte Driver was given the task of setting up the county's cybercrime unit and has very quickly discovered the widespread extent of the problem.

"We tend to deal more with sexting, malicious communications online, cyber harassment and cyber bullying - but there's also fraud." she said.

Charlotte Driver set up Suffolk's cybercrime unit. Credit: ITV News Anglia

She's in charge of a team of ten civilians investigating a range of serious offences. They often see the internet as a pedophile’s playground.

"The problem is the internet is able to be accessed 24 hours a day and with social media we find that's a platform that can be abused particularly with children," she admitted.

"Used correctly, it's a wonderful thing but there are those who can go on there and prey on the young and the vulnerable. They set up accounts often anonymously and in other people's names and use it and abuse it."

Cybercrime is widespread. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Charlotte says her team have become busier and busier; an indication of the way crime is changing and putting greater demands on the police.

"What is particularly frustrating is that many of the perpetrators are abroad, so realistically we can't see those investigations through." she said

"However, we are having some successes, making sure children are safeguarded and are going into more and more schools doing presentations to young people warning of the dangers of being online. "

She acknowledges budget constraints mean more civilian staff are likely to be drafted in to investigate cybercrimes so police officers can concentrate on front line work.

A team of civilians are investigating cybercrimes in Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

And she had this warning to the growing number of youngsters involved in sexting, where they send pictures of themselves naked. One case they investigated involved a child of eight-years-old.

"What people need to realise is that once and image is shared with somebody it can be reshared, and we find that 88 per cent of images are reshared. Once you press that send button all control has gone and those images can end up on porn sites; awful sites and unfortunately there’s really nothing we can do to stop that happening." she said.