Lancashire Police has officially launched its new multi-million pound unit to fight online crime.
The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has opened the constabulary’s Digital Investigations and Forensics Department which is designed to improves the way the force’s tackles cyber crime.
Around £2.7m has been invested over three years to improve the way detectives handle digital crime capabilities, offer a faster turnaround of evidence and a better service for victims, with significantly reduced time for the outcome of digital forensics.
Following a tour and an opportunity to meet the different teams who each play a vital role in the department, the commissioner saw some of the equipment that is used in the process of a digital investigation.
He said: “It is crucial Lancashire Constabulary ensure their digital capabilities are to a high standard and well placed to tackle the ever evolving nature of crime.
"Over half of all crime has an online element with this only set to increase and investing in this area is a key part of keeping people safe and protecting vulnerable people, both key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. I’m really pleased that the investment we’ve made is already making such a clear operational difference which is helping keep the people of Lancashire safe.”
Late last year the Commissioner, who is also the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ national lead for fraud and cyber crime, launched his Be Cyber Wise campaign which highlights how people and businesses can protect against online crime and avoid becoming a victim.
He added: “More and more people are regularly using the internet for an increasing range of activities and my campaign recognises that this means the risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime increases. By providing advice and support we are helping those most vulnerable to take easy steps to protect themselves against online criminals.”
Jo Edwards, Assistant Chief Constable said: “The impact of digital technology now cuts across all types of criminal investigations and it is vitally important that we have the capacity to meet the challenges that we face.
“That is why we have made the significant investment in this new facility, which will allow us to carry out quicker examination of digital devices so we can extract evidence to support on-going investigations and bring positive outcomes to victims of crime in Lancashire.”