The ground breaking appointment of Gloucestershire’s first official Safer Cyber Co-ordinator is a significant move in the Constabulary’s aim to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on the internet, say police.

The role is a key element in Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl’s move to make tackling so-called cybercrime a priority in his blueprint for policing the county.

Gloucestershire’s Assistant Chief Constable Richard Berry, who is the national lead on cybercrime training and responsible for Safer Cyber locally under the commissioner’s police and crime plan said,

“The new Safer Cyber Co-ordinator will play a key role in developing the Constabulary’s ability to respond effectively to cyber crime, working with our staff and officers to ensure they can deal with these new crimes as effectively as they do with more ‘traditional’ crime and equally as important, working with the public and local businesses to help them protect themselves and stay safe online.”

Safer cyber was added to the police and crime plan priorities in April. It followed overwhelming support from the public who wanted more done to prevent things like internet fraud and online bullying. Despite criticism from some politicians, the investment appears to be paying off already.

Recent successes include:

  • Foiling an organised crime attack which potentially exposed innocent internet users to child abuse imagery
  • Helping combat the latest cyber-attack on local services in Gloucester
  • Running an in-house cyber-defence exercise making Gloucestershire one of the first police forces in the country to do so

Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said,

“Cybercrime is an issue we all have to face up to. It is a key priority within the UK’s Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) which means every police force, large or small, has to make a contribution.

“Both the Chief Constable and I have a shared responsibility to ensure that Gloucestershire Police are able to respond effectively to any form of cyber attack on a national scale and to develop our own cyber crime capabilities beneath that level of threat”.

“It is vital we bring in people with the right skills because until now the Constabulary has had limited resources in this area.”