Internet crime now a priority for police

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A YORKSHIRE police commissioner says the growing problem of cyber crime is one of his new top priorities in the coming year.

Mark Burns-Williamson says he will launch a review into the impact of crime carried out using computers or the internet in West Yorkshire.

He also pledged to improve road safety and tackle human trafficking as part of his ‘refreshed’ police and crime plan for 2013 to 2018.

Mr Burns-Williamson, who was elected as police and crime commissioner in 2012, said the focus on cyber crime was due to “the experience of the last 12 months and understanding wider issues”.

He said: “It is certainly an emerging and growing form of crime. When I have visited schools in the county they have raised it and it is certainly the world we live in. It also covers potentially a much wider area, things like fraud and involvements in serious organised crime.

“When I have been looking at the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation it is obvious it needs to reflect changes in cyber crime as well to stop assets being transferred at the flick of a switch.

“We have been contacted by a number of specialists and organisations who are definitely looking to do more work in this field.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Lawrenson, West Yorkshire Police’s strategic lead for cyber crime, said last year that more crimes than ever dealt with by his officers now involve an “internet or technological” element.

He says this means more officers will be called on to deal with crime committed using new technology and the traditional qualities needed by police ‘bobbies’ may change in coming years.