Tackling cybercrime in Warwickshire
In a nutshell, what is this initiative?
Warwickshire Neighbourhood Watch Association aims to provide members with information and resources about protecting themselves from cybercrime.
When did it start?
In April 2014, Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch Association held their AGM. Their guest speaker was the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, who flagged up the rising problem of cybercrime and challenged the group to help do something about it. This inspired them to take up the challenge across the wider Warwickshire area.
What do they actually do?
During National Neighbourhood Watch Week 2015, Warwickshire Neighbourhood Watch organised a county conference in which Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch played a leading role.
The keynote speaker was Rob Hadfield from Get Safe Online, and the event was hosted by Dr Saraj Shaekh, the Head of Research at the Cybercrime Department of the Faculty of Engineering and Computing at Coventry University.
From the event, all Warwickshire Districts took away the beginnings of an action plan to take forward locally to tackle cybercrime in their area.
Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch have formed a task and finish group (comprising six members) which has held three meetings so far, completed their short term action plan and is now developing their longer term aims. They are concentrating on targeting Neighbourhood Watch members at the moment due to limited capacity.
Their initiative is being delivered by electronic means – their DISC communication system, Twitter and emails – and has three strands:
Are there any other partners?
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards is a key partner and primary source of information and advice for the Neighbourhood Watch Association.
Warwickshire Neighbourhood Watch Association sits on the Warwickshire Policing Strategic Crime Group – the only voluntary organisation to do so. They have gained a lot of respect and support from the group and are taken seriously thanks to their tactical approach.
How is it evaluated?
The project lead undertakes a regular analysis of activity compared with the action plan.
The initiative reaches over 600 people via the DISC digital communication system, and since 1 September 2015 has sent out over 100 messages on topics relating to cybercrime, resulting in a reach of over 70,000.
What are their plans for the future?
At present digital communications are mainly sent to Neighbourhood Watch coordinators in Nuneaton & Bedworth; they plan to extend this across the membership.
This will also go hand in hand with a drive to recruit new coordinators.
Brian Lowe, Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch – firstname.lastname@example.org / 02476 350131.