A POLICE force has defended the way it tackles cyber crime after a think tank suggested a number of ambitious ways policing could be transformed.

Reform has called on ministers to invest £450million in new technology to fight online crime, including body-worn cameras, smartphones to receive information faster and augmented-reality glasses to identify pieces of evidence at crime scenes.

The group also calls on police forces to recruit 12,000 IT expert volunteers to deal with rising number of complaints. A report produced by the think tank found that across the country 47 per cent of crime is enabled by technology. People are 20 times more likely to be a victim of fraud than robbery, costing businesses £144 billion a year.

Researchers estimated that up to 2,500 people in the UK use the dark web, facilitating revenge pornography and child sex abuse.

Superintendent Mark Khan, head of the Cybercrime Unit for North Yorkshire Police, said the force set up its own Cybercrime Unit in 2015 and views cyber-enabled sexual crime as a priority.

The police are also recruiting internally to create a dedicated team within the unit to investigate online child abuse and has trained more than 200 officers to “capture evidence of offences for most cyber-enabled crimes".

Spt Khan said: “NYP has acknowledged the rate in which incidents of cybercrime are increasing year on year and we are responding to this increasing threat in a number of ways. The Cybercrime unit is now co-located with other departments such as digital forensics, which examines devices such as mobile phones and laptops, to gather evidence. This gives us a much more efficient use of our technology and offers the opportunity for expertise of all specialisms to be shared more frequently - ultimately this will speed up investigations and deliver swifter justice for victims.”