The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has funded a Wolverhampton based project to help small businesses tackle cyber-crime.

The Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group has been given £21,000 by David Jamieson to fund the Fight Against Cyber Theft (FACT) project.

The project aims to raise awareness of online crime and reduce opportunities of a cyber-attack, particularly within a small or medium business.

FACT engages with a variety of Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and sole traders across Wolverhampton who have previously fallen victims to cyber theft and provides them with personal support to overcome the trauma and impact of crime.

The impact of a cyber breach or attack can be huge and sadly, many crimes against sole traders and SMEs go unreported.

Small businesses have fewer resources and cyber theft threatens the viability of the business, causing considerable stress for the owners and a negative impact on the local economy.

In many cases, cyber theft results in closure of the business and the loss of a livelihood.

FACT helps businesses develop a recovery plan to prevent repeat offending and supports the victim with preventative products to protect them and their business.

The project also supports the wider business crime reduction strategy across the city – supported by the city council, wider police and partners.

The project is funded through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Active Citizens Fund, a scheme which awards money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act to groups aiming to make a positive difference to the community. 

The money can’t be used to pay for additional police officers as the fund increases and decreases from one year to another.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “It is pleasing to see how money seized from criminals is being used to tackle growing threat.

“The Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group is doing outstanding work, engaging with a range of businesses affected by cyber theft and helps support them to take preventative action against cyber criminals.

“I hope this good work can be extended across the rest of the West Midlands in the future.”

Manager of the Wolverhampton Business Crime Reduction Group Kanti Patel, added: “The funding from the Active Citizens Fund has enabled us to highlight the issues of Cybercrime across Wolverhampton.

“Businesses are much more aware of the effects of this crime and how taking just small steps can help them be more protected. Sadly they are still so many small businesses who still feel that they are too small to be victims.

“However, it is no longer a case of “will it happen to me”, it is “when will it happen to me?”. If you need some help and support please get in touch, we are here to help.”

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