Nottinghamshire Police is taking on the fight against cyber crime, launching a new webpage to arm the public with the tools to prevent becoming a victim.
The webpage also contains advice on what to do if you are already a victim or if you suspect that someone else is a victim.
Superintendent Mark Pollock, the force lead on cyber crime, said: “Many people think that the term ‘cyber crime’ only refers to hacking, but in reality it is much broader.” “We are seeing more and more criminals moving over from traditional forms of crime into cyber.”
“Cyber crime generally refers to any offence that takes place online. It can be anything from being coaxed into sending someone money after meeting them on an online dating website, to a criminal accessing your smart phone data and apps through an intercepted public wifi area.”
“Our key message to the public is that a large majority of cyber crime is easily preventable by making small and simple changes to the way we use internet technology. The new webpage will help you do this.”
In August and September in Nottinghamshire, there were over 100 victims of cyber crime, compared to 38 victims in March and April 2014.
The youngest victim was 13 years old, the oldest 87 years old, with the average victim age being 52 years old.
Nationally it is anticipated that cyber crime costs the UK economy £27bn per year.
Supt Pollock said: “You can see by the statistics above just how much of a widespread problem cyber crime is and at Nottinghamshire Police we are taking it very seriously.”
“It is one of our two strategic priorities for 2015, giving cyber crime the same focus as violent crime.”
“We also recently saw the Nottinghamshire Police website hacked for a short time. It just goes to show that even large organisations are susceptible to cyber criminals.”
The national Anti-Bullying Week campaign, taking place this week, also brings cyber bullying into focus with recent statistics showing that seven out of 10 young people have been victims of cyber bullying.
Supt Pollock added: “If you are a victim of cyber bullying please talk to someone that you can trust – an adult or a friend, Childline also offer help and advice.£
“No one should have to suffer as a result of malicious behaviour online – if you are suffering then the key thing to realise is that you are not alone that that there a people who can help.”