Throughout my working life I have taken on projects, both paid and voluntary, relating to child protection. The bulk of this work happened between 2010-2017, during which time I worked as a cybercrime investigator specialising in internet crimes against children.
I trained initially as a private investigator, moving into digital forensics as it became obvious that this was where the world was heading. In 2017 I co-wrote a textbook with Oleg Skulkin, Windows Forensics Cookbook, which offers a step-by-step guide to a variety of topics, from memory acquisition and analysis to web browser, email and instant messaging forensics.
Child sexual exploitation is an international crime, and my work in this area has taken me all over the world, sometimes literally and sometimes virtually. I am proud to have been involved in such important initiatives as PhotoDNA (using facial recognition technology to fight child sex trafficking); Operation Endeavour (a cross-border collaborative investigation into live-streamed child sex abuse in the Philippines); and initiatives to take tactical communications and information systems (TacCIS) that are usually used in military contexts and apply them to child protection infrastructures.
Alongside my work to prevent child exploitation from happening and bring perpetrators to justice, I have also held a number of voluntary roles within victim support. This included spending a year on the night shift at ChildLine, talking to children who were at immediate risk of suicide or other serious harm, much of which came as a result of experiencing severe trauma such as sexual abuse. I have worked with a number of local youth groups around the South-East of England on projects relating to surviving trauma, among others; have organised and helped with events for refugees, both raising awareness and providing safe spaces for refugees to seek the help they need; and have helped vulnerable groups to set up and maintain secure online communities in deep web environments while maintaining their anonymity.
I have been Senior Editor at Forensic Focus, a hub for digital forensic and incident response professionals, since 2013; and I have been involved in organising various industry conferences and projects, including DFRWS EU & US and DFIR Review, an initiative which aims to improve digital forensic research via a rapid peer review process which acknowledges the speed at which technological advances take place.
While I am no longer working as an investigator, I still consult on cases concerning child sexual exploitation, and I am available to speak to schools, parent/carer groups and other interested parties.
Selected Certifications & Courses
- Enhanced Criminal Records Check: Adult Workforce
- Enhanced Criminal Records Check: Child Workforce
- Safeguarding Children (Stop It Now!)
- Internet Evidence Finder Essentials (Magnet Forensics)
- Eradicating Child Sexual Abuse (Lucy Faithfull Foundation)
- Foundations: Investigations (Nuix)
- Windows OS Forensics (AccessData)
- Windows 10 Forensics (AccessData)
- BTEC Private Investigation (API)
- Windows Forensics Cookbook (with Oleg Skulkin), Packt Publishing, 2017
- How Do Criminals Communicate Online?, ForensicFocus.com, 2017
- Windows Drive Acquisition, ForensicFocus.com, 2017
- The Investigative Challenges of Live-Streamed Child Abuse, ForensicFocus.com, 2016
- Current Challenges in Digital Forensics, ForensicFocus.com, 2016
- The Darker Side of Social Networking, Tri-City Psychology, 2009