Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has issued a warning reminding people that locked doors and windows cannot protect them from an uninvited cyber-criminal.
The PCC wants local people to be as security-conscious about their internet activity as they are about securing their homes from burglars as new figures revealed an increase in the number of ‘cyber-enabled’ crimes in the county.
A report presented to the PCC’s Strategic Governance Board yesterday (19 September) revealed cyber-enabled crime (existing types of crimes which are more prolific in scale and speed because of the internet) have increased from 1,190 cases in 2013 to 1,615 cases in 2015.
The data, which includes incidents reported to Action Fraud and those reported to Derbyshire police, has highlighted the need for greater awareness of internet security among the public to prevent victimisation.
“There’s lots of work going on behind the scenes in Derbyshire to disrupt fraudulent activity that takes place online but local people can dramatically reduce their chances of falling prey to internet criminals by always expecting the unexpected,” said Mr Dhindsa.
“The internet provides an open door for criminals to come into your home and breach your privacy, which is why so many offenders are choosing to hide behind a computer to carry out their crimes. These predators are invisible but they are there nevertheless and are waiting for an opportunity to strike.
“By treating every item of unsolicited communication as a potential risk to your personal security, and questioning unexpected contact from people purporting to be official, you can protect yourselves from needless financial loss and upset.”
The Commissioner is committed to tackling cybercrime in line with his Police and Crime Plan Objective to keep people, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities, safe from harm, antisocial behaviour and criminal activities.
Derbyshire Constabulary is in the early stages of creating a Force Based Cyber Crime Unit to deal with cyber dependent crime and recruitment is underway. Although the posts will not be public-facing, the new recruits will nonetheless be leading the force’s operational work to investigate these crimes.
In addition, the force has created the role of a Digital PCSO to drive public engagement work including pop-up security hubs at local libraries and community safety events, presentations to local community groups and media work.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Tuesday 20th September 2016