Second annual cyber crime survey launches in Warwickshire, West Mercia and the West Midlands
The Police and Crime Commissioners for Warwickshire, West Mercia
and the West Midlands have joined together with Warwickshire County
Council and partners today to launch the second annual cyber crime
survey to assess the impact online crime is having around the
The West Midlands and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioners
have now joined the survey that originated in Warwickshire last
The cyber crime survey is being run jointly by the three
PCCs and the county council. The survey will ask people to share
their experiences of online crime through via 36 questions. The
information will help Police and Crime Commissioners get a better
picture of online crime in their areas and shape services
Last year, there was a very high response rate to this survey,
which found the following:
- More than half of respondents were targeted by phishing scams,
with one in 10 going on to become victims.
- One in five people who spend more than seven hours a day online
will become a victim of cybercrime.
- As age increases, knowledge of online crime risks reduces
slightly, while the feeling of being at risk increases
- Under 18s are the age group most targeted for online harassment
or bullying with female respondents targeted twice as much as
- Nearly one third of parents have neither applied online
restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet
- 4% of respondents have no idea how to protect themselves
- "I did not think anyone could help" was the number one reason
for not reporting cybercrime, 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 alone, while
nearly a quarter of a million people in the county felt 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 the region over the past 12 months and whether
residents are more aware of the dangers that can be posed online
and the things they are able to do to minimise these risks.
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire,
said: "Fraud and other offences committed via the internet are now
among the most common types of crime that people fall victim to, as
criminals have increasingly shifted their focus to an online,
digital world. Tackling this growing area of crime is something
that Warwickshire Police and partner agencies are fully committed
to and there is continuous work to shape the current and future
policing response to cyber-enabled crime.
"Warwickshire Police has launched the #BeCyberSmart campaign
with West Mercia Police to raise awareness of the practical steps
people can take stay safe online and tackling cybercrime is also
major part of my Police and Crime Plan. Among a range of other
initiatives, I have funded two cybercrime 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
"This second annual survey is another excellent opportunity to
help promote the simple ways in which people can increase their
cyber security. I'm delighted that we are able to work
together as a region to look at this issue and I hope to see a good
response from all areas."
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,
"I am pleased we are coming together to tackle this issue. Crime
is changing not falling and cyber crime is an increasingly
important issue that affects individuals and businesses alike.
"As well as getting a better picture of how it impacts people
across the region we also will be promoting preventative measures
that in many cases will protect people from cyber crime.
"My Assistant Commissioner Ashley Bertie heads up cyber crime in
the West Midlands force area and over the coming months he will be
leading on a series of events to help individuals and businesses
protect themselves online."
John Campion, West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
"Cyber is an emerging area of crime and it is important to
understand how it is impacting our communities if we are going to
be effective in tackling it. This survey will help ensure
we listen to our communities and can focus our work on the
biggest priorities. We must have an agile, dynamic approach to
cyber crime though to ensure our work keeps pace with new cyber
Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio
Holder for Community Safety, said: "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 cyber crime 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."
Cllr Phillip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and
Scrutiny Committee, added: "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 cyber crime. We hope this latest survey will raise
awareness of the issues so that people can take practical steps to
avoid becoming a victim."
Take part in the second annual cybercrime survey here:
Picture: West Mercia PCC John Campion,
Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe and West Midlands PCC David
Jamieson launch the 2016 Regional Cybercrime