Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has welcomed national figures showing a 6% drop in crime over the last year.
The official data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales reported there were 6.3 million incidents against adults in the year to March 2016, compared with 6.8 million in the previous 12 months.
Philip Seccombe said: “This headline figure is very encouraging. We all want to see well policed, safer more secure communities and this report illustrates we are making steps in the right direction. It’s also good to see more people coming forward to the police and reporting their crimes. Clearly though there is much more to be done.”
For the first time questions around cyber crime offences were also included in the survey. It estimated there were 3.8 million fraud incidents and 2 million computer misuse offences across England and Wales.
The findings back up the local Cyber Crime Survey, which was carried out by the Warwickshire Observatory for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Warwickshire County Council last year. This suggested that more than 80,000 people in Warwickshire had fallen victim to some form of online crime in the previous 12 months, while nearly a quarter of a million people in the county feel at risk online. Worryingly, around 2.4 percent of respondents had no idea of how to protect themselves online.
Philip Seccombe, said: “The latest Crime Survey for England and Wales emphasises how crime is changing and how the response to it needs to change accordingly. The most common type of crime that people suffer is now fraud and other internet-related offences, as criminals have increasingly shifted their focus to the online world.
“Tackling cyber crime will form a significant part of my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire and has been a priority for my office and for Warwickshire Police for some time. Through the Cyber Crime Survey my office has already played a strong role in identifying the scale of the problem locally, while it has also played a lead role in raising awareness among businesses and individuals. For example, funding has been provided to Warwickshire County Council to employ two Cyber Crime Advisors, who are now hard at work with partner agencies and voluntary organisations to help deliver information on the latest cyber threats and provide expert advice on how to stay safe online.
“Cyber criminals operate on a global scale, however, so this is not something that can or will be solved purely by the police, either local or nationally. We need to see more acknowledgement of the problem from businesses and technology companies, as well as concerted action on a global scale.
“Ultimately, however, the best defence is for people to be aware of the simple steps they can take which can prevent a majority of cyber crimes from taking place. I’d urge everyone to take a look at Warwickshire Police’s Online Crime advice pages at www.warwickshire.police.uk and find out the latest advice and information on staying safe online.”