With the growth of the internet, social media, online shopping, banking and connected devices, cybercrime has become a very effective tool for criminals.

Cybercrime basically means any crime committed online using the internet through devices such as computers, laptops, smart phones, games consoles and internet-enabled televisions.

An increase in online access has resulted in an increase in the number and type of cybercrime offences being committed. The different types of cybercrime are extensive and includes identity fraud, cyberbullying, child sexual exploitation, online shopping fraud, banking account takeover, holiday fraud, recruitment to extremist organisations and stalking and harassment.

There are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to some types of cybercrime, such as making sure that you have up-to-date anti-virus software on your devices and strong passwords. Please visit www.getsafeonline.org for cybercrime prevention advice.

If you think that you have been the victim of online fraud or identity theft and want to report the crime or incident, contact Action Fraud which is the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. You can report either through their online portal at www.actionfraud.police.uk or telephone the helpdesk on 0300 123 2040.

If you want to report any other sort of cybercrime such as stalking and harassment or fears about sexual grooming, don’t hesitate to contact the Police, they are there to help.