CYBER crime is a threat that needs to be tackled head on.
That is according to Warwickshire’s police and crime commissioner Ron Ball who described it as a new frontier in criminal activity.
Mr Ball said people were two and a half times more likely to become a victim of internet fraud than any other crime with the estimated cost predicted at between £18billion and £27billion.
He said most people would not consider leaving their home or car unlocked, but did not always think seriously about security when using the internet.
“Traditional crime such as burglary and robbery have declined year on year but in contrast, cyber crime is growing at a rapid pace.
“There needs to be a coordinated approach to counter this trend with everyone showing greater awareness and taking action to step up online security.
“Many of these crimes are relatively easy to prevent with greater awareness. We want people to understand what they can do to safeguard themselves against cyber criminals.”
A group has already been set up by Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces to tackle cyber crime and develop prevention initiatives. It is chaired by assistant chief constable Lewis Benjamin.
Mr Ball will be among the speakers at a cyber crime conference and workshop hosted by Coventry University in conjunction with Warwickshire and West Mercia Police on May 23.
– A review of police stop and search powers has been welcomed by Mr Ball.
Home Secretary Theresa May said there would be an overhaul after a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) showed 27 per cent of stop-and-search records looked at did not contain reasonable grounds to be carried out.
At present, police can stop someone if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they are carrying illegal drugs, a weapon, stolen property or something which could be used to commit a crime, such as a crowbar.
But recent figures show only about 10 per cent of more than a million searches lead to an arrest with members of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) seven times more likely to be stopped than those that are white.
In Warwickshire last year 4,393 of the white population were stopped and searched compared to 680 of the black and minority ethnic community
“I understand the national concern on indiscriminate use of stop and search police powers,” Mr Ball said.
“When used properly stop and search powers are an important tool in the fight against crime. It is critical that the police use their powers to stop and search professionally. In Warwickshire we have recently reviewed our processes and techniques on these important powers.”