Police Scotland launches cyber-enabled crime team in north east

Police Scotland launches cyber-enabled crime team in north east

Police Scotland has launched a new team in the north east to help tackle cyber-enabled crimes.

Based in Aberdeen, the ‘cyber-enabled crime team’ will work alongside national units within Police Scotland to help develop specialist knowledge locally, enhance investigations and develop preventative strategies to help keep our communities safe.

Last year the force launched its Cyber Strategy 2020: Keeping people safe in the digital world which sets out its plan to tackle the threat, risk and harm from digitally-enabled crimes, particularly online child sexual abuse, fraud and the sharing of indecent images.

In recent years Police Scotland has recorded an increase in cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled offences. In the north east during 2020/21, more than 1,500 fraud crimes were reported – several hundred more than the previous year when almost 850 cases were recorded. Meanwhile, in June 2020, the single force recorded the highest number of online child sexual abuse crimes on record.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Buchan of North East Division CID said: “The nature of crime is changing and North East Division needs to change with it. The online space is becoming a bigger part of front line policing every day and, with the entire population asked to stay at home over the past year, the threat from those who exploit vulnerable people and children either for financial or sexual gain has been greater than ever.

“As we continue to live through a global pandemic that is promoting an even greater reliance on digital technology, Police Scotland has a vital role to play in providing advice and reassurance while vigorously pursuing those who cause harm to our communities. This dedicated team in the North East will be absolutely crucial to enhance the work already ongoing nationally and provides a local commitment to an ever-increasing area of business.

“Bringing offenders to justice and protecting vulnerable people is key and particularly so in this area of Policing when we consider the profile of those offending and those affected adversely – these incidents can be life changing for victims.

“Prevention is absolutely crucial to tackling this complex area of crime and raising awareness of how people can avoid falling victim. We already work alongside a range of partners in the North East to do this, and this new team will be responsible for strengthening these crucial relationships moving forward.”

On June 30, officers from the new team will host a ‘live’ Facebook chat on the North East Division Facebook page where members of the public can ask questions about any aspect of cyber-crime. You can join in by posting questions underneath a dedicated post which will appear on the night.

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