Police are using a “cyber dog” trained to sniff out electrical components in the fight against online paedophiles.

The 18-month-old Springer Spaniel, named Tweed, is one of just two dogs in the UK trained in the technique, which is already popular in the US.

Tweed was put into action during a raid in Anchor Lane, Canewdon, today where she uncovered a number of items, which have now been seized.

PC Jan Simpson said: “Each time an indecent image of a child is downloaded or distributed the child is being exploited all over again.

“We will not tolerate those committing this heinous crime and, using all the tools available to us including specialist resources such as Tweed, we will continue to root out those committing these offences and bring them to justice.

“If you are taking, viewing, downloading or distributing indecent images of children, then it is only a matter of time before you can expect us to knock on your door.

“We are very grateful to Devon and Cornwall Police for allowing Tweed to provide invaluable support.”

Nobody has been arrested and enquires are ongoing.

Tweed is usually based with Devon and Cornwall Police and is officially titled a “cyber detection dog”.

Her only similarly trained colleague is Labrador Rob, who is also with Devon and Cornwall Police.

The pair are the only dogs outside of the USA to be trained in this way and received specialist training from the FBI.

Guided by her handler, PC Martin King, Tweed’s nose led officers to a number of devices and electrical equipment. Each item was seized to be forensically examined.

In November last year, Essex Police established a team of specialist officers to target those downloading, taking and distributing indecent images of children.

The team of extra officers work alongside and in support of the existing specialist Police Online Investigation Team (POLIT) and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (CAIT).

So far the team have executed more than 40 warrants, arrested 43 people and charged more than 30.

As a result the additional crackdown will be extended for another six months until March 2018.