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  1. ITV Report

Police launch £250,000 unit to combat cybercrime

Cumbria Police have launched a new Cyber and Digital crime unit, to deal with the growing number of online offences.

The commissioner and constabulary have invested in additional specialist services to deter the criminals and help the victims they target.

Cybercrime police unit launched in Cumbria. Credit: PA

Cybercrime ranges from cases such as hacking, sexual exploitation and digital fraud.

These types of crimes can involve long and complex investigations, including detailed examination of digital equipment.

A budget of more than £250,000 has been invested in the unit to help address the problem.

Officers that specialise in cybercrime will be joined by three new staff and two detectives.

Crime and Police Commissioner Peter McCall said "Offences such as internet fraud, online grooming, cyber stalking and child sexual exploitation, where criminals focus on the most vulnerable as an easy target, are happening here in Cumbria."

Detective Inspector Ian Harwood leads the new unit.

The specialist officers and staff are in place to tackle and deter crime in what is becoming a busier and more demanding area of policing.

“One of the challenges in policing is keeping up with changing trends in crime.

“And cybercrime is something that has become more of a threat as people become more familiar with using computers and other devices for day-to-day life.

“Criminals will also exploit any new method available to commit their offences – and we need to keep one step ahead of them."

– Detective Inspector Ian Harwood