A new police unit has been set up to help combat on-line crime
The two forces operating a joint Cyber Crime Unit (CCU), started in November this year and is based at Haywards Heath police station.
Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Cundy of Surrey Police said;
In the digital world a wide range of cyber crime is taking place: from individuals who have been the victims of financial scams or identity fraud, to organised crime and child exploitation – the true level of this type of crime is under reported.
Work is on-going nationally to fully understand the scale of the cyber crime, but meanwhile in Surrey and Sussex we have already recognised that there is a need to urgently increase the capacity and ability of the two forces to deal with this type of crime, to reduce the risks faced by local people. People now live more of their lives online and criminality is already adapting to exploit this digital environment.”
Cyber crimes themselves are criminal acts committed through the use of computers or other technological devices, where the devices are both the tool for committing the crime and target of the crime. For example, harvesting of online bank account details using malware, the hacking of a website hacking of networks to steal sensitive data.
Cyber-enabled crimes include online fraud, online theft, online sexual offending, or any in which devices are used to organise or arrange other crimes.
Head of the new unit, DI Andy Haslam, said:
We will be carrying out individual operations, working closely with teams in, for example, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit and the National Crime Agency (NCA), and already have a number of complex enquiries within our unit.
It is important to understand that we will not be carrying out all investigations. We are actively supporting investigations across both forces’ counties because an equally important aim of the unit is to spread knowledge and understanding of this type of crime to all our staff who are responsible for receiving reports and for investigations. We want to enable them all to respond effectively and bring offenders to justice. We have already started work on:
Specialist cyber crime and digital policing training developed by the College of Policing which is already available on-line across both forces’ systems, helping frontline officers and staff recognise, respond to and give advice about reports of cyber crimes.
To protect yourself online follow these top 5 tips:
– Use strong, memorable passwords
– Install anti-virus software on new devices
– Check privacy settings on social media
– Shop safely online – always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure
– Download software and application patches when prompted.
For further advice about ways to help keep yourself safe on-line, from crime and harassment, go to; http://www.sussex.police.uk/policing-in-sussex/your-community/crime-prevention-advice/computers-and-internet