Warwickshire’s work on raising awareness of cyber crime and online fraud across the county has been recognised at a prestigious national awards ceremony in London.
The Warwickshire Tackling Cyber Crime Programme, which is funded by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, was a nominated finalist at the Government Counter Fraud Awards in the ‘Excellence in Raising Fraud Awareness’ category.
The awards, which took place on Thursday 21st September 2017, recognised exceptional achievement and innovation in fighting fraud in the public sector. They showcase the skills and professionalism of the individuals and teams working to protect the public, with entrants from across the UK public sector.
The Warwickshire Tackling Cyber Crime Programme comprises the county's two Cyber Crime Advisors, a Business Crime Advisor and two Trading Standards Officers posts, hosted across Warwickshire County Council Community Safety and Trading Standards teams.The work by the programme has led to a 115% increase in the monthly reporting of cybercrime offences from April 2016 to June 2017. Nationally, it is accepted that cyber-crime is under-reported; therefore increase is seen as being due to an increase the confidence of victims to report such offences. Some of the highlights of the work done in the last year include:
Warwickshire Trading Standards running a scams email alert system which provides subscribers with current warnings on cyber-crime related scams. They also delivered there Talkingshop programme which is an interactive educational tool used to deliver cyber-crime education to schools. This reached approximately 1000 children in Warwickshire. They have also run numerous successful enforcement projects.
The Cyber Crime Advisers have trained a range of professionals. Victim Support Training was completed to select staff and volunteers of Victim Support in Warwickshire about fraud and cybercrime and Citizens Advice Bureau staff in Warwickshire have also received formal training around the subject of cyber-crime. sessions have looked at a wide range of cyber-crimes and focused on initial actions and ways in which such crimes can be prevented or how to assist current victims.
They have also continued raising awareness of cyber crime through presentations to the public and creation of social media pages and a dedicated website. Cyber Safe Warwickshire - is a website for the general public, the site hosts information on the latest scams and cyber news which will be affecting them at a local level but also includes information on where to get support and were to report cyber crime.
The Business Crime Advisor has delivered online sessions to local businesses highlighting the risks posed from cyber criminals to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
A Wi-Fi Savvy scheme has also been launched by Warwickshire’s Business Crime Advisor who has been contacting local small and medium businesses in the county, to safeguard themselves and their customers from fraud issues relating to Wi-Fi. The aim is to encourage businesses to implement appropriate procedures to secure the Wi-Fi offered to customers; whilst also offering advice to customers around safe online practices when using public Wi-Fi.
All the partners involved look forward to continuing their work to help protect residents of Warwickshire from cyber crime.
You can find more information about the work of the teams below: