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An organisation made up of key partners from across the UK, formed specifically to tackle cyber crime, is already having an impact as West Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner host a week-long campaign to warn about the crime.The first ever Independent Advisory Group (IAG) formed specifically to tackle cyber crime met for the first time in January and was chaired by Superintendent Mark Ridley of West Yorkshire Police.
It featured representatives from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, the NSPCC, the Bradford Deaf Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Barclays Bank, the National College of Policing, Trading Standards, Stonewall, the Home Office, Victim Support and Leeds Beckett University. It is due to meet again this month.
And since the inaugural meeting, partners from the group helped support the successful West Yorkshire Police web chat on cyber crime.
Representatives from Victim Support and West Yorkshire Trading Standards joined Detective Inspector Vanessa Smith of the Cyber Unit as nearly 100 people joined in on the web chat.
Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, of the Protective Services Department at West Yorkshire Police, said:
“Cyber crime is very much a 21st century challenge and as a police service we need to adapt to this changing world to deal with the criminals who look to prey on people’s vulnerability.”
“Almost everyone now has access to the internet via a computer, tablet, mobile phone or other device, which provides increased opportunities for criminals to take advantage of this. It is much easier and far less risky for a would-be thief to sit at home with a laptop and deceive someone out of hundreds or thousands of pounds than come face to face with a victim and attempt to steal from them.”
“This is not a challenge that any police force can meet just by themselves. Everyone has a role to play in making a real difference and that is what this group is all about; understanding online criminality, how criminals operate and securing evidence against them. I was delighted that so many different organisations were able to attend the first meeting and to share their expertise with the group.”
“So by working together with different partners we can have a much more substantial impact. We are also hoping other organisations will join us as the group grows in strength.”
West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said “Partnership working, the sharing of best practise and new ideas are absolutely crucial in tackling cyber crime. I was more than happy to support the group and the number of organisations getting involved just goes to show how important addressing this crime is.”

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