Rising threat of 'sexting' crimes prompts police response

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Police have vowed to take action against cyber crime as the increasing number of young people going online puts them at risk.

Derbyshire Constabulary said Officers across the force are committed to tackling cybercrime to keep Derbyshire residents safe from harm, anti-social behaviour and criminal activities online.

And in particular the force is looking to engage with young people, and is training it's own officers, to tackle the rising problems with sexually-related cyber crime.

A spokesperson said: "As more children and young people head online and share information over social networking sites, there is the potential risk of increasing issues such as child sexual exploitation (CSE) and explicit images being shared on the web.

"Police are working to tackle the issue known as sexting to minimise the increased risk to children online. Sexting involves young people taking and sharing sexually explicit images of themselves, often through social media channels such as Snapchat, KIK and Instagram."

Over the last year, the force’s Digital Media Investigation Unit has been committed to tackling these issues online to keep residents, particularly those most vulnerable, safe from cybercriminals.

They have been working closely with Derby University, said the spokesperson, to promote the key messages of staying safe online, with the force’s Digital Media Coordinator, Detective Sergeant Karl Rowley, presenting a number of workshops to highlight cybercrime trends and safety messages to schools across the county.

Visits have also been carried out at schools across Derbyshire with local Safer Neighbourhood teams chatting to pupils, parents and teachers to offer top tips and raise awareness of online dangers.

And as officers work to boost cyber security , they have also been taking part in training to increase their own knowledge.

Derbyshire police added: "To date, this has seen 128 frontline investigators completing a specialised training package last year, with another training package being launched last month to continually boost knowledge on the increasing threat posed by cybercriminals."

The training package was launched by the College of Policing with the modules being designed and tailored by Derbyshire’s digital media co-ordinator.

With officers continually investigating and increasing their knowledge into the world of cybercrime, Derbyshire Constabulary is set to launch a dedicated campaign aimed at encouraging residents to protect themselves online.