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Second Annual Cyber Crime Survey Launches In Warwickshire

As part of the national Get Safe Online Day, Warwickshire County Council and key strategic partners today launched their second annual cyber crime survey to assess the impact that online crime is having around the county.

The cyber crime survey – which can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16 – is being run by the Warwickshire Observatory and asks people to share their experiences of online crime through a series of questions.

Last year, there was a very high response rate to this survey, which found the following:

  • Over half of respondents were targeted by phishing scams, with 1 in 10 going on to become victims.
  • One in five that spend over seven hours a day online will become a victim of cyber crime.
  • As age increases, knowledge of online crime risks reduces slightly, while the feeling of being at risk increases significantly.
  • Under 18s are the age group most targeted for online harassment or bullying with female respondents targeted twice as much as males.
  • Nearly one third of parents have neither applied online restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet safety.
  • 4% of respondents have no idea how to protect themselves online.
  • “I did not think anyone could help” was the number one reason for not reporting cyber crime, followed by “did not know who to report it to”.

Last year’s survey also suggested that 82,200 people fell victim to online crime in the last 12 months in Warwickshire, while nearly a quarter of a million people in the county feel at risk online. Worryingly, around 2.4 percent of the respondents to the first survey had no idea to protect themselves online.

This latest survey will seek to examine how the picture has changed across Warwickshire over the past 12 months and whether residents are more aware of the dangers that can be posed online and the things that they are able to do to minimise these risks.

Regional Response

The survey is also running across West Mercia and West Midlands policing areas which will allow us to assess the scale of the problem across a wider region.

“This second annual survey is an excellent opportunity to continue to raise awareness of cybercrime and the harm that it causes across communities.

“Communities served by Warwickshire Police should rest assured that the threat posed by cyber criminals is being taken very seriously. All partner agencies are absolutely committed to tackling this growing crime type and are working hard to shape the future policing response to both cyber and cyber-enabled crime.

“An important tool in this ongoing battle is to raise awareness of the ways in which members of the public and businesses can protect themselves. Warwickshire Police has made this a priority and launched a campaign called #BeCyberSmart last year, with West Mercia Police.

“I have also funded 2 cyber crime advisors off the back of last year’s survey results. Employed by Warwickshire County Council, the advisors are going out delivering key messages to vulnerable communities to help increase awareness of online safety.”

Phillip Seccombe, Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner

At the end of the survey, there is a link to an e-learning package which has been created by a team of subject matter experts of the County Council. This e-learning encourages users to become more aware of the risks which occur online. Completing this module will give you an understanding of what Cyber Crime is, the multitude of risks experienced online, and information on how to minimise these in your personal life. In addition to this, advice and support resources will be signposted to throughout.

“The scale of cyber crime in Warwickshire uncovered by last year’s survey was truly shocking. While we hear the term frequently these days and most people have been aware that it is a growing threat, the numbers of victims uncovered by the survey show that cyber crime is something that has the potential to affect everyone.

“Cyber crime is a growing community safety issue as victims can be seriously affected, not just financially but also emotionally, with feelings of depression, and sometimes worse, as a result. The economic impact on local businesses of cybercrime is also something that cannot be underestimated. Warwickshire County Council will be watching closely the results of this latest survey to see how the picture has changed over the past 12 months.”

Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety

“Many people don’t realise they have become a victim of cyber crime, are too embarrassed to come forward or simply do not believe that anything can be done about it, meaning that the scale of the problem has until now been hard to quantify and somewhat hidden from view. Armed with the data from last year’s survey, we now have a more accurate picture, which has allowed us to target resources more effectively.

“It’s clear that cyber crime and internet fraud are booming and, in Warwickshire, we have already invested in a range of initiatives to tackle cybercrime. We hope this latest survey will raise awareness of the issues so that people can take practical steps to avoid becoming a victim.”

Cllr Phillip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee

There is advice and guidance available to Warwickshire Consumers on the Warwickshire Website: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/consumeradvice

Take part in the second annual cyber crime survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16

For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime

Be Cyber Streetwise is a cross-government campaign, funded by the National Cyber Security Programme. They aim to measurably and significantly improve the online safety behaviour and confidence of consumers and small businesses (SMEs).

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.

ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.

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