Money used by police to help tackle sick paedophiles and people who exploit vulnerable children for crime has risen by almost £28 million in Lancashire.

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden has ploughed around 50 per cent more cash into fighting child exploitation since he was elected into office in 2021, and says protecting vulnerable youngsters from this type of crime is one of his main priorities.

The money comes from a wide range of sources such as government funding, tax payer cash, and money seized from criminals and criminal activity. 

Lancashire Telegraph: Police officers raiding a house in LancashirePolice officers raiding a house in Lancashire (Image: Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner)

Posting on YouTube, Mr Snowden explained how Lancashire Police is fighting online child exploitation and exploitation on the streets through various means, such as gathering intelligence, digital forensics and projects which protect vulnerable victims. 

He said: "I'm often asked what are the things that keep you awake at night and one of them is how much exploitation of young people and vulnerable people happens online and on our streets. 

"What I'm talking about is everything from the sick paedophiles who try to groom children for their own sexual gain, all the way through to gangs who use vulnerable young people for drug running or use sexual violence as a means of intimidation and getting what they want."

Mr Snowden said as commissioner he has invested around 50 per cent more money into the teams fighting these sick individuals, which includes deploying more bobbies on the beat to gather information and intelligence through talking to people and businesses, in good old fashioned community policing.

He explained he's also passionate about keeping a police presence in all communities to protect the most vulnerable, and has ensured there are police hubs and stations open or opening across many of Lancashire's towns.

Tax payer money is also used for enforcement by Lancashire Police through behind the scenes investigations such as using digital forensics, which helps to hunt down these predators online or via other digital communications, such as mobile phones. 

An expert team of staff working in Lancashire's digital forensics unit help to crack encrypted phones and recover deleted or hidden files on computers and laptops so that those doing the grooming can be caught and put behind bars, or those involved in drug running can be apprehended and brought to justice. 

Using cash taken from criminals to fund projects and programmes across the county, such as outreach and sports programmes, is another way the police are helping to protect the vulnerable, particularly children. 

Mr Snowden said he's ploughed thousands into community schemes and projects that work with young people to keep them safe and make sure crimes don't happen in the first place, by bringing them to a safe space where they can get rid of pent up anger and introduce them to a healthy lifestyle. 

Since Mr Snowden has been in office he has increased the budgets for taking the fight to these predatory criminals and safeguarding people by almost £28m.

He added: "I know that this is something we share a zero tolerance towards, so I will continue to invest to make sure that we do our best by our children and most vulnerable in society to keep them safe and to get the predators behind bars."