DCI Long's team deals with very distressing cases. Library image. Getty Images
He leads an internationally acclaimed team of 18 specialist police officers from Maidstone and says their work sometimes makes them “sick to the stomach.”
DCI Matthew Long, a pioneer of cutting-edge ‘profile’ technology that puts child abusers behind bars, has just been honoured by the Association of International Police Chiefs Philadelphia, USA.
The project has been so successful it’s been rolled out to 38 UK police forces, and is supported by Interpol and other organisations fighting child exploitation.
Now US law enforcement agencies are making use of it.
Called KIRAT (Kent Internet Risk Assessment Tool) it profiles paedophiles and helps identify their victims.
DCI Long developed it together with Laurence Alison, professor of forensic psychology at Liverpool University.
The system assesses the characteristics of offenders, their possible behaviour patterns, social background and also the environment they might be living in.
DCI Long’s Maidstone team is supported by a pool of over 100 police officers, including search and child protection specialists.
It all amounts to the county having one of the largest child exploitation investigation units in Britain.
DCI Matthew Long of Kent Police
The European Commission has been so impressed its announced a £1.1 million funding package to support their profiling work on the Continent.
The emotional intensity experienced by DCI Long and his colleagues goes beyond heart-breaking.
“We have access to counsellors as some of the video images we see make you sick to the stomach" - DCI Matthew Long
The 36-year-old said: “We have access to counsellors as some of the video images we see make you sick to the stomach.
“It’s true to say there are times when we need help to box that memory off, counselling helps clear the cupboard and resets the mind.”
Surprisingly, his team’s leaving rate is very low something he attributes to the satisfaction they get in putting offenders behind bars, and also the rescue of children from their clutches.
“For us it’s an honour to be recognised, but the greatest honour of all is protecting these children on a daily basis,” said DCI Long.
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