Five employed by Sussex Police to examine child abuse images

Jon Brown, NSPCC lead for tackling sexual abuse
Jon Brown, NSPCC lead for tackling sexual abuse

Sussex Police are employing five investigators tasked with dealing with child abuse images, the force has confirmed.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by children’s charity the NSPCC revealed that five specialist investigators are employed by Sussex Police.

However, an NSPCC spokesperson said Sussex Police did not disclose the number of computers seized last year that the specialists needed to survey.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “We currently have five investigators qualified to examine items suspected of containing indecent images, but we also have access to qualified and accredited independent examiners to assist us if necessary.

“As with every aspect of police work we are always seeking ways to make our operations even more effective, and the change this year which has brought the two specialist Surrey and Sussex Police Paedophile on-Line Investigation Teams (POLITs) under joint command will provide opportunities for greater efficiencies including the examination of seized material.

“Protection of children is a priority for the police service and we are committed to the task of investigating all allegations involving indecent images of children.

“The public are encouraged to report any suspicions to us via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed eleven people were arrested in West Sussex from April to June as part of a national police crackdown on paedophiles.

All arrests made were for offences relating to the possession and/or sharing of indecent images of children.

Other forces covering areas similar in population to Sussex revealed that they seized hundreds of computers last year.

Lancashire Constabulary seized 745 computers last year and employ three analysts.

Hertfordshire Constabulary seized 516 computers and employ four specialists.