The UK Government has recognised that there is a frightening risk of young people getting into cyber crime inadvertently. The average age of arrest for ‘cyber crime’ is just 17 years old – massively different to most crime types. Combined with this is a need to fill a global shortfall in cyber security professionals defending our personal data, our businesses and our country. This shortfall is estimated to reach 1.8 million people by 2022.
The National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 – 2021 recognises this need and the Cyber Prevent Strategy was created to:
- Educate young people as to the Computer Misuse Act and the consequences of committing cyber crime
- Deter and divert those on the cusp of or committing low-level cyber crime
- Identify and divert those firmly established in cyber offending, stopping them sliding deeper into offending
The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit’s Cyber Prevent team aim to deliver this strategy in the South East Region – Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and the Thames Valley (Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire).
- Work with partners to effectively and efficiently deliver the message regarding the Computer Misuse Act and consequences of offending into schools, colleges and higher education institutions
- Try and raise the general knowledge of the Computer Misuse Act
- Work with partners to identify those on the cusp of cyber offending or those vulnerable to exploitation and act to safeguard and divert them – into a cyber career if possible
- Divert those committing low-level cyber offences
- Manage the highest risk cyber offenders to reduce or remove the risk