A Joint Forth Valley and Specialist Crime Division Cyber Crime Operation, which uncovered extensive online child exploitation has been nominated for a National Award.
The award, hosted by the National Police Chiefs Council, the International Digital Investigations and Intelligence Awards recognise policing operations, campaigns or investigations, where the use of digital technology played a key role.
This Operation relates to the conviction of a man named John Kilpatrick which began in 2016.
Kilpatrick first came to the attention of police in 2016 following intelligence that he was in possession of indecent images of children.
In March that year a search was executed at his home in Larbert and various devices were seized, which were found to contain large numbers of indecent images.
These devices also contained chat logs from social media platforms and detailed conversations with young girls aged under 16, whom Kilpatrick had approached in various guises, usually pretending to be a modelling scout.
He was able to convince victims to send him pictures of themselves in vulnerable poses and then when they ceased sending the images he would use blackmail and intimidation to obtain further images from them.
Officers then began the process of reaching out to the victims , obtaining statements from them and building a case against Kilpatrick which ultimately led to his conviction and sentencing.
Detective Chief Inspector Vicky Watson from Forth Valley CID said "First and foremost, our only priority during this investigation was to get justice for the young girls whom John Kilpatrick targeted and who he exploited for his own sexual gratification.
"The joint working of Local officers from Forth Valley and specialist officers from the National Specialist Crime Division ensured Kilpatrick's conviction and the safeguarding of young girls
"I am very humbled , but immensely proud that our investigation has been nominated for this award and would like to thank all of those involved in this operation for their outstanding professionalism and dedication throughout."