Thursday, 26 November 2020 03:01

Beware cyber criminals: Chief Constable Kier Pritchard's column Featured

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WE are now entering the final week of the second national lockdown and preparing to move to the next phase of restrictions during the approach to Christmas.

I appreciate that the past few weeks have been tough and, therefore, I want to thank you all for your continued support.

We have seen very high levels of compliance across Swindon and Wiltshire, and it is clear that the vast majority of the public understand the reasons why a second lockdown was needed and have done their best to follow the rules.

However, we need to be careful not to become complacent.

We have one more week of lockdown, and then a different set of restrictions in place during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

We must continue to be cautious and do everything we can to limit the spread of Covid-19.

It is clear that this pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, and, within policing, we have seen that knock-on impact on crime.

One thing that has stood out is an increase in cyber crime.

This year we are expecting to see a significant increase in the number of people doing their Christmas shopping online, so, as we approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I would urge you to take extra precautions.

There is a huge amount of advice out there to ensure you stay safe online, so why not take a moment to visit the websites of trusted organisations such as Citizens Advice or Action Fraud to read up on the latest tips.

Also, and even more worryingly, we know that this second lockdown will have sadly led to an increase in domestic abuse and violence.

Here at Wiltshire Police we will be supporting the national 16 Days of Action campaign to address and try to help tackle this issue.

We know this is a crime which is often underreported, but we want to reassure everyone that this is something we take incredibly seriously.

For more information, including links to charities and organisations which can provide support if people do not yet feel ready to speak to the police, please visit www.wiltshire.police.uk and search Domestic Abuse.

The web page has been designed so it can be visited discreetly, with an option to quickly hide the link and delete your internet history if necessary.

Nobody should suffer in silence, so please take that first step to find a way out, help is available.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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