Internet trolls, scammers and hackers targeted by new Gloucestershire cyber crime squad

Internet trolls, scammers and hackers targeted by new Gloucestershire cyber crime squad

Internet trolls, scammers and hackers targeted by new Gloucestershire cyber crime squad

First published in News
Last updated

A NEW team is being set up to crackdown on cyber crime in Gloucestershire, including harassment on social media sites, hacking and internet fraud.

Gloucestershire Police will be identifying and training a specialist network of its officers to combat the growing number of offences committed on the internet in the county.

New figures reveal there were hundreds of internet fraud and other online offences against victims in Gloucestershire in the last ten months.

The statistics show 89 people or businesses fell prey to hackers and 240 people were targeted by fraudsters on internet auction sites between April and December last year.

IN addition, the number of people making reports of offences in which social media sites were mentioned, which typically include allegations of harassment, increased from 55 in 2010 to 2011 to 78 in 2012 to 2013.

Between April and December in 2013, there were 75 offences involving computer software such as malware and viruses, 100 offences of computer software service fraud and 12 dating scam offences and seven lottery scams.

Detective chief superintendent Bernie Kinsella said cybercrime was right at the top of the force’s agenda because of the increased number of offences and the impact it was having on society.

“You just have to look at the number of people affected right here in Gloucestershire to realise how big a concern this is,” he said.

"These cases could cover malicious communications via Twitter and Facebook and internet trolling, for example.

“The law is complex and we're determined all officers are trained to understand and implement it consistently.

"It's vital we do more to clamp down on these crimes and send a clear message out to those abusing others via the internet that we won't stand for it."

"It's vital we do more to clamp down on these crimes and send a clear message out to those abusing others via the internet that we won't stand for it."

The new team will be partly funded by the increase in the police’s council tax precept and officers are being identified to train and specialise in overseeing investigations.

Part of the new team’s role will also include working with agencies such as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre to bring down online criminal gangs, such as those carrying out sexual abuse and internet fraud.

Anyone wishing to report offences should call 101. Online fraud offences should also be reported via www.actionfraud.police.uk

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