Several arrests made as police target online criminals in Cumbria

Detectives also seized 19 digital devices suspected to contain indecent images of children. Credit: PA Media

Three people have been arrested following a week of action by Cumbria Police’s Cyber and Digital Crime Unit.

Detectives also seized 19 digital devices suspected to contain indecent images of children.

Officers in the specialised unit deal with online offending and help to safeguard those at risk of being exploited.

Last year they made 38 arrests, carried out 28 search warrants and safeguarded 108 children.

The figures have been released to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 7 February.

Detective Inspector Fiona Gray, who leads the Cyber and Digital Crime Unit, said: “The team work incredibly hard day-in-day-out to target those committing online child sexual abuse and, most importantly, to safeguard vulnerable victims who are identified as at risk.

“Those who solely offend online may feel that their offending is somehow less harmful.

“However, behind every indecent image is a child suffering sexual abuse – and accessing these images fuels the market for such abuse.

“I would also urge people to consider the devastating impact of such offending on their own family as well as their employment.

“We will continue to use the many tools available to us to proactively target those who offend online, safeguard victims and bring offenders to justice.

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, who funds the Cyber and Digital Crime Unit, said: “When we think about policing most of us do not think about cyber crime, this involves many types of really harmful crimes including fraudulent scamming and child sexual abuse.

“Technology is constantly advancing, therefore it is essential that we have a dedicated team to help investigate and arrest those who use technology to commit their crimes.

Detective Inspector Gray added:  “Many of the crimes we deal with are unseen to the public, with offenders using online platforms to contact children to groom them into sexual or criminal activity.

“This is happening behind closed doors, sometimes invisible to parents or guardians.

“I would urge people to familiarise themselves with all aspects of their children’s online activity and have regular open and honest discussions with their children about their digital lives.

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