Sussex PCC welcomes Home Office cybercrime funding announcement
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has welcomed the prospect of an investment from the government to help local police officers fight illegal online activity at a community level.
This follows an announcement by Home Secretary, Amber Rudd that £50 million of funding will be made available over the next year to bolster cyber capabilities within law enforcement at a national, regional and local level.
As Principal Lead of the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners Police Technology and Digital Portfolio, Mrs Bourne is determined to tackle exploitation online and keep the local and most vulnerable people of Sussex digitally safe.
“In the digital world a wide range of cyber-enabled crime is taking place; from individuals who have been the victims of financial scams or identity fraud, to organised crime and child exploitation. This extra funding will mean that measures can be put in place to tackle these crimes nationally.
“Although the national fraud profile shows that younger people are more frequently targeted, in counties like Sussex with an ageing population, it is the 65+ age group that have proved most vulnerable to online scams. Fraud against our older and more vulnerable residents has robbed some older people of their entire life savings and left others destitute.
“In Surrey and Sussex we recognised that there is a need to increase our capacity and ability to deal with this type of crime and reduce the real risks faced by local people. This is why I allocated funding to support a joint Cybercrime Unit (CCU), based at Haywards Heath Police Station, which was set up in 2014 to keep local people safe in this modern environment and stay ahead of online crime in the future.
“The operational response from Sussex Police to cybercrime has been excellent. They have developed Operation Signature to help protect and support those most at risk of fraud locally, especially our older residents. This model has been nationally recognised and is being adopted by other police forces.
“In Sussex we now have a process for recognising that victims of fraud are victims of crime and to provide preventative measures to support and protect them being targeted in the future. However, with the cyber world fast developing, we need an even faster-developing response to combat online fraud.
“The extra funding from the Home Office will enable all local police forces to further the skills needed to investigate cases of cyber-crime and also be more digitally aware to provide preventative advice to local people and businesses."