POLIT (Paedophile Online Investigation Team)
Our Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) are a team of experts dedicated to safeguarding children by detecting online abuse and prosecuting offenders for the possession and distribution of indecent images of children (IIOC).
The team consists of a specialist team of ten officers dedicated to dealing with this complex area of policing on a daily basis. The team work cohesively and deal with specialist lines of investigation, enabling them to quickly identify those who pose the greatest risk to children within our communities.
In the first 6 months of 2017, 12 defendants were charged with a variety of online CSE offences, the vast majority of those generally entering guilty pleas in view of the overwhelming evidence secured against them through our team with the support of the force High Tech Crime Examiners. Since POLIT was established in 2015, the team have already arrested over 100 individuals across the force area.
The team work alongside colleagues in our RISE team, Cyber Crime Unit, with proactive officers and our Tactical Support Teams – which creates one large proactive safeguarding unit.
In addition to responding to local intelligence, our POLIT staff receive referrals from other organisations such as the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and has the ability to undertake cross-border work with neighbouring forces.
We actively encourage the reporting of information about anybody believed to be viewing and sharing indecent images of children or grooming them online, so that those who prey on children can be caught and dealt with.