Police reveal the extent of cyber crime

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GREATER Manchester Police has for the first time released information about the level of cyber-crime in the county.

From April 1 2014 the Force started to record crimes that had a link to technology and in the 12 months there were 1,147 cyber-crimes recorded.

Four main problems were highlighted including fraud, harassment, obscene publications and underage sexual activity.

Det Supt Mark Smith said: “We are at the starting point of trying to quantify the extent of the problem in Greater Manchester and these reports really are the tip of the iceberg. We know people are now starting to come forward but there are many more who are unseen victims of cyber criminals.

“A cyber-crime support team was created six months ago to assist officers to deal with these crimes so we can expect to see an increase.

“People should come forward and report if they have been targeted by criminals using the Internet or social media. If we know more about the crime taking place we can do more to tackle it.”

The main reports were:

Fraud – with online sales, hacked accounts and the sale of stolen goods the key issues;

Harassment – mainly involving email and social media including Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp;

Obscene publications – producing, trading and downloading indecent images of children;

Sexual activity – mainly related to indecent images sent or requested of children including grooming.

In the 12 months to March 31 2015, 1,147 crimes were highlighted as being a cyber-crime with the highest reports during February when 270 were reported.

For details about how to protect yourself online visit www.gmp.police.uk/staysafeonline or call police on 101 and Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.