Police Cyber Crime Unit now working in Kent

Contributed by editor on May 04, 2017 - 03:00 PM


Kent Police has set up a team of specially trained detectives to tackle Cyber Crime.


The new Cyber Crime Unit led by Detective Inspector Lee Morton is part of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and will be overseen by Detective Chief Inspector Morgan Cronin. A similar unit exists in Essex.

The Unit has been established in response to the rise in computer crime and digital threats.

Detectives in the new team will investigate serious and complex cases such as:
Computer-dependent crimes

This is where computers or other devices are used both as a tool for committing the crime and target of the crime. This includes offences defined by the Computer Misuse Act 1990. An example would be the harvesting of online bank account details using malware; and Cyber-enabled crimes

These are committed without devices, but are changed by use of technology in terms of scale and reach. This includes online fraud, and where devices are used to organise or arrange crimes.

The team will proactively identify and investigate digital crimes, and disrupt the offenders responsible by making arrests, seizing equipment, and prosecuting them.

The officers will gather intelligence about methods used and will work to stay up to date with the latest threats, viruses and scams.

They will be playing a key role in the force’s on-going ‘Protect and Connect’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of a number of cyber-related crimes so businesses and residents can protect themselves.

The team has already started giving presentations to different groups and plan to engage with as many businesses as possible. They will also be linking in with schools and colleges to target youngsters interested in online activities to promote safe and legal use of the internet.

Detectives in the Cyber Crime Unit will pass on their specialist knowledge to help other officers who are investigating computer crime, and internal training is being given to enhance the level of expertise within Kent Police.

Detective Inspector Lee Morton said: ‘Emerging crime patterns and trends over the last year or so have pointed towards a substantial growth in this type of offence and our unit is in place to respond to that.

‘Indeed, Kent police has received more than 8,000 reports of fraud, involving the loss of some £12 million in the last six months alone.

‘Small businesses are particularly vulnerable as they may be unable to invest in computer protection in the same way a large company can.

‘I would urge all companies and organisations to train staff in cybersecurity. Even organisations like schools can be at risk from a threat where hackers access their telephone exchange and can exploit call forwarding systems which dial premium rate numbers being operated by criminals usually overseas.

The school does not realise it has been targeted until their phone bill arrives showing calls made costing them hundreds or thousands of pounds which they are liable to pay.’

There are a number of ways businesses can make their computer systems safer:

Download software updates as soon as they appear.
Delete suspicious emails immediately.
Use anti-virus software.
Use a separate credit card for online transactions.
Lock your screen if you are away from your desk.
Don't plug memory sticks into USB ports unless you know their origin - and, in particular, don't allow anyone to charge their phone via your computer's USB port.
Passwords of less than eight characters are virtually useless - change them immediately.
Passwords should be a sentence and contain upper and lower case, letters, numbers and symbols .
Identify the top five data files on your system which could be useful to a competitor or a criminal, and double protect them.

There is more information about cyber-crime on the Kent Police website.


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