Derbyshire Police to cut officers on the beat as net crime grows

Computer user Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The number of calls to the force flagged up as "cyber-related" in the last year has increased by nearly 150

Derbyshire Police plans to cut the number of officers on the beat in favour of more staff tackling online crime, the chief constable has said.

The number of calls to the force flagged up as "cyber-related" in the last year has increased by nearly 150.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon did not confirm how many officers might have to be taken off the street.

He said it was important to meet this "new demand" on the force.

A recent report to the county's police and crime commissioner, said the extent of online crime was "unknown" as current crime figures reflected more "traditional" forms of crime.

However, police told the BBC the number of crimes identified as "cyber crimes" had risen significantly over the last year.

This was put down to likely being due to a better understanding of the issue and improved recording of offences by frontline officers.

Image copyright Derbyshire Police
Image caption Chief Constable Mick Creedon said it was important to react to new demands on police services

Calls to the force flagged as "cyber-related" have risen from 269 in early 2014 to 417 in the last quarter.

The force said that more than 200 cases related to activity on Facebook alone between September 2009 and December 2013.

Mr Creedon said: "It's really important that we have a police service that's able to meet that new demand and not just the old demand that we're used to."

The force added it had trained hundreds of officers in digital investigations.

Cyber-related calls

Image caption Staff can retrieve data from even broken mobile phones in their laboratory in Ripley
  • March - May 2014: 269 incidents
  • June - August 2014: 301 incidents
  • September - December 2014: 346 incidents
  • January - March 2015: 417 incidents

Source: Derbyshire Police

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