Police step-up cybercrime fight

North Yorkshire Police has launched a new cybercrime campaign.
North Yorkshire Police has launched a new cybercrime campaign.

Police are stepping up their battle against cybercrime as online incidents in North Yorkshire continue to rise.

North Yorkshire Police has launched a campaign throughout October, which aims to raise awareness of the growing threat and warns people to be more vigilant.

Information about the most common online threats and scams in the county will be published on social media channels, along with prevention advice.

The campaign comes after it emerged more and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit criminal activities.

So far in 2015, there have been 480 cyber-related incidents reported to North Yorkshire Police, including fraudulent online sales, identity theft and online child sexual exploitation.

There have also been 844 reports made by the county’s residents to Action Fraud during the first half of this year, which has cost the victims a total of £1,800,198.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, the force’s head of cybercrime, said: “North Yorkshire is just as vulnerable to cybercrime as anywhere else in the country and the public need to understand that.

“The number of reported incidents is significant and whether of personal, financial or sexual nature, the fact is that this type of crime is a real increasing threat.

“For example, one in four adults in the UK have fallen victim to identity fraud, and some of these live and work in North Yorkshire. Many people do not realise the scale of this problem and it is important to encourage people to take steps to ensure their own safety online.”

North Yorkshire Police has recently boosted its resources in an attempt to tackle the issue by rolling out cybercrime training across specialist departments in the force. In addition, a new Cybercrime Unit is now in operation, which has seen a small team set up to assist officers who are dealing with complex cyber-related cases and need specialist support. Officers within the unit also raise awareness of cybercrime and offer prevention advice.

The force will be hosting a live cybercrime web chat at 5pm on Monday, October 19.

For more information about how to prevent becoming a victim of cybercrime, and for general online safety advice, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/cybercrime