British Police At War Against Cyber Crime

Cybercrime is an increasingly difficult issue for police forces in our current day and age as their IT resources are not as large as required, but about 53% of all crimes in the UK now have a cyber element. Where traditional forms of theft can be easy to prevent, criminals in Kent county of the UK, are now using the Internet to exploit people and steal their information digitally.

Often scammers will target vulnerable people and the elderly by claiming they are protecting them from the very people they are pretending not to be.

Earlier this year, a woman from Dartford in Kent received a phone call from a man claiming to be from Scotland Yard, who said her grandson had been arrested with cloned bank cards in his possession.  Luckily the woman did not pass on her details, but she got the impression someone would visit her house and ask to take her bank cards if she had.

Scams like this are getting more sophisticated, from phishing emails to ransomware directed at businesses. Criminals using cyber tactics to exploit people are the primary focus for Aimee Payne, Prevent and Protect officer for Kent Police. Ocfficer Payne specialises in cyber fraud prevention for the Kent Police said: "Somebody can attack your computer very, very easily nowadays. And it doesn't take somebody much to do that.

The best way of stopping cyber fraudsters in their tracks, she said, is to educate people on ways of keeping themselves safe from different types of digital crime.

The cyber expert said: "Around 53% of all current crime in Kent has some online element. Aside from personal cyber fraud, businesses are often found at risk of attacks from hackers who are testing their skills.

A common hacking tool is the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) which overloads websites with traffic and disrupts the services.

Aimee Payne works with children who have been found to be testing their hacking abilities and committing cyber offences.
She said: "At the moment, we're dealing with children around about 13 who have committed offences, and they're just trialling their skills out, seeing whether they can do it.

"One of the things that we do is educate around the law and give them a choice, whether they're going to go down the right path or the wrong path. Then we give them the resources to be able to utilise the skills in the right way."

Shujun Li, professor of cyber security at the University of Kent, said: "From phishing attacks to ransomware, cyberattacks are a real threat to organisations of all sizes including small and medium-sized businesses, large companies, the public sector and charities across the UK and the world. 

"They are also an increasing threat, with an estimated one third of UK SMEs becoming victims of an attack last year."

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