Safer Internet Day (6 Feb 2017)

Officers from West Yorkshire Police are teaming up with key partners to mark Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 7 February

The Force, which is one of only a few to have a team specifically dedicated to tackling cyber crime, is looking to spread the message about safe use of the world wide web.

And it is using the national Safer Internet Day as an opportunity to encourage its proper use.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster of West Yorkshire Police, said:

"We live in an age when almost everyone has access to the internet through a laptop / computer, tablet or mobile phone.

"People almost lead a second life on the internet, doing much of their banking, shopping and communication there.

"The internet provides a mass of positive opportunities for people but it can also be used by criminals for negative reasons too.

"By taking some simple precautions though we can all stop these criminals in their tracks.

"As a Force we do everything we can to continually spread the message about cyber security (which includes safe use of the internet) and Safer Internet Day is another opportunity to spread that message."

To mark the day the Force has organised a number of events across West Yorkshire.

Officers and staff will join O2 Gurus, the NPSCC and Barclay's Digital Eagles at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds between 1pm and 5pm where they will be giving advice and information to members of the public

There will be a similar events on Trinity Walk, Wakefield, which will start at 0830am (approximately) with involvement from Barclays Digital Eagles and O2.

And the NPSCC and 02 will join West Yorkshire Police and Victim Support next to the Woolshops. Halifax between 11am and 2pm.

In Bradford an officer will visit Eldwick Primary School to talk about Safer Internet Day and watch pupils perform songs and take part in a cyber quiz with parents taking on children.

The officer will also host a digital leaders assembly and host drop in sessions to discuss cyber security.

ACC Foster added:

"Raising awareness about cyber crime is so so important to making sure those looking to commit crime through the cyber world cannot do so.

"Cyber crime comes in many shapes and forms - it can range from someone gaining access to your bank account and stealing money from you to paedophiles looking to groom young people through chat rooms.

"But if you take some time to follow our simple advice and take sensible precautions then you can greatly reduce your chances of being a victim."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "I recognised tackling cyber crime, or technology enabled crime, as a key priority and that is why I provided funding to help create West Yorkshire Police's dedicated Cyber Crime Team.

"The vast majority of cyber crime is preventable and I would urge everyone to take advantage of the fantastic resources available through West Yorkshire Police and our partners, including the events on Safer Internet Day, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe online."

A spokesperson for the NSPCC, said:

"To children, online friends are real friends and online life is real life. There's no difference. So it's vital they are safe and know how to get help if they need it.

"Parents need to feel confident that their children are protected when they're online, and setting up parental controls, alongside regular chats about their digital lives, can go a long way to minimizing the risks.

"Keeping children safe online is everyone's responsibility, so I hope Safer Internet Day will inspire more tech companies to unite with government and organisations like the NSPCC to build a better internet for children."

Lesley McLean from the independent charity Victim Support in West Yorkshire said:

"Cybercrime is widespread and is underreported. It's just as serious as any other type of physical crime and can have a devastating impact on people's lives.

"Victim Support believes there is a real need to raise awareness of cybercrime and the support options available for those affected. Safer Internet day is a great opportunity to raise the topic and encourage the government, criminal justice agencies and voluntary sector to work together to help make the internet a safer place for everyone.

"If anyone has been affected by this type of crime, you can get help from Victim Support. Our independent charity offers free and confidential support, simply call our supportline on 0300 303 1971 or get in touch via our website victimsupport.org.uk."

Safer Internet Day is also about helping make businesses safe online. West Yorkshire Police have partnered with aql® the Regional business lead for the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) to promote better online business security. CISP is a FREE Government funded site where local businesses can obtain up to date information about scams, threats and alerts posted by a range of Government Agencies and help themselves stay ahead. To access the site and join the CISP community go to www.ncsc.gov.uk/cisp

On the same day West Yorkshire Police be changing the profile pictures on the main social media accounts to a smiley emoji to help support the #giveasmile social media campaign which aims to make the internet a more positive place by sharing smiley emojis and smiley selfies.

For more information about Safer Internet Day and for advice on preventing cyber crime visit our website and follow our social media accounts. Lookout for #SID2017/ #WYPSID on Social Media.

The Force is also hoping to have facebook live streams at the Wakefield and Leeds events. Follow our social media accounts for further information.

Detective Inspector Benn Kemp has a produced a short video about the day.

Karen Swainston, Head of Corporate Relations in the North East for Barclays, said: "Staying safe online has never been more important and working in conjunction with West Yorkshire Police is just one of the many ways we help our customers avoid cyber-crime. Both personal and business customers can take practical measures to minimise cyber threats and take steps to ensure they are adequately protected and have the correct software that keeps them and their customers details safe."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2017