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Dereham firms help tackle computer crime

Date: September 02, 2004
Source: EDP24
By: Nick Parker

According to EDP24, the business community in a Norfolk town is helping police tackle computer crimes such as child pornography and online fraud.

Detectives from Dereham CID are seeking funds to buy equipment for their burgeoning Hi-tech Crime Unit.

Officers have appealed to local firms to dig deep to help buy the 2000 server needed to cope with the volume of data that they have to sift through.

Without the extra capacity, equipment seized in West Norfolk has to be sent out of the county for analysis when the computer crime unit at the force headquarters at Wymondham is full.

At an average cost of 3500 per machine, officers in Dereham argue a local facility could save the force thousands of pounds in the long term. But with no room in the annual budget to fund kit, local businesses are doing the decent thing and helping out.

Det Sgt Tom Neill of Dereham CID said: "This is the technology of today and of the future. If we do not start getting to grips with it we will be left behind. By providing this here we are freeing up our Computer Crime Unit to deal with more complex cases.

"We need 2000 for the server and we are halfway there. There will also be other bits and pieces that we need."

The unit is already dealing with its 15th seized computer since starting in February.

Typical investigations have centred on fraud and deception, child pornography and online grooming.

Bob Everett, of LF Everett &Son printers, dipped into the company coffers to help fund the scheme.

"Normally someone comes to you with a proposal and you tell them you need to think about it, which is generally a bit of a fob-off. On this occasion I said yes straight away," he said.
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