TIM DREW: Funding to help tackle cyber-stalking threat
Last week being National Stalking Awareness Week, the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner awarded Â£5,000 from her Safer in Sussex Community Fund to help tackle the growing threat posed by cyber-stalking.
Research indicates that 80 per cent of stalking and harassment crimes involve some form of online cyber-stalking.
Last year, Sussex Police received more than 200 reports of stalking and most of the offences are believed to go unreported. The funding went to Veritas Justice – a Brighton-based charity which aims to raise awareness, train, support and advocate for individuals affected by stalking – so that it can host a series of workshops to help people stay safe online.
It is important that victims know they will be listened to when they come forward and report, so one of the aims of National Stalking Awareness Week was to encourage police officers to spot the signs of stalking when it is first reported to them and identify patterns in this type of behaviour.
Meanwhile, a new scam has emerged which takes the form of an automated telephone call purporting to be from the HMRC (Inland Revenue). Recipients are told that they are in serious breach of tax regulations, owe considerable sums of money and face prosecution.
They are advised not to contact the Revenue, but to contact their solicitor immediately or ring the office concerned on 00 203 129 5663.
The advice from Neighbourhood Watch is to do neither, but to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report the matter online.
Whether you are a NHW coordinator, member or simply a concerned citizen, please look out for vulnerable people you may know and who may be encouraged to respond to such a message, which is clearly designed to intimidate people into taking action that they should avoid.
The Offington Neighbourhood Panel will meet at 10am on Thursday, May 11, at the Thomas A Becket PHS in Rectory Road.
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