Two men from Harrogate have received jail sentences following a North Yorkshire Police (NYP) crackdown on cyber-crime in the last year.
Following the launch of the NYP Cyber-crime Unit (CCU) in April 2015, more than thirty arrests have been made of suspected paedophiles, for offences relating to sharing indecent images of children.
Seven of those arrested were sentenced to jail, including one 30-year-old man sentenced for two years and a 43- year-old man who received 16 months imprisonment, both of whom are from Harrogate.
Another man, a 19-year-old from Tadcaster was also given a caution under the Computer Misuse Act, as the police also tightened up on hackers.
The CCU was launched after the force recognised a need to boost its resources for tackling this growing type of crime.
NYP successfully bid for a £225,000 government investment through the Police Innovation Fund and put plans for the specialist unit together.
Now the CCU consists of three Detective Constables with extensive training in cyber-crime and more than 200 officers with mainstream cyber-crime training.
Detective Chief Inspector, Matt Walker is now the Head of Cyber-crime at NYP, and spoke about the importance of the CCU in tackling crime.
He said: “It is this type of pro-active work that is so vital.
“In addition to the already incredible work of our officers to relentlessly catch those who break the law and threaten to harm others, the Cyber-crime Unit is a crucial dedicated resource.
“Cyber-crime is a real ever increasing threat here in North Yorkshire.
“It needs a focussed team of specialist trained officers to assist frontline investigating officers and staff, carry out complex cyber investigations, and be the NYP link with the Regional Cyber-crime Unit and other external bodies such as Action Fraud.
“The work of the Cybercrime Unit also plays an important role in allowing NYP to be more efficient and effective in preventing and investigating crime.
“The unit works with other departments across the force to speed up processes and “fast-track” the capturing of evidence.
“This can reduce investigation time, meaning swifter justice for victims.”