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Lincolnshire cyber crime unit deals with 17 cases in two months

The new cyber crime unit set by Lincolnshire Police two months ago has already investigated 17 incidents.

The force only began recording the new classification of cyber-crime at the beginning of April.

Since, the unit investigated 17 incidents of crimes committed using a computer: 10 classified as violence without injury, four as sexual offences and three as crimes against society.

Only one of those crimes has so far resulted in criminal charges but three have been dealt with via a caution and in 11 cases the investigations are ongoing.

Detective Superintendent David Wood, Director of Intelligence at Lincolnshire Police, said: “There are two types of cyber crime, cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes.

“Cyber-dependent crimes are offences that can only be committed by using a computer, computer networks, or other form of ICT.

“There is no doubt that cyber crime is set to increase. In order to tackle it effectively, new ways to identify and classify it have been introduced.

“Whilst technology such as the internet and social media are featuring increasingly in the activities of criminals, police are responding by developing their insight and understanding into its criminal use, and enhancing their ability to identify and investigate these crimes and bring offenders to justice.”

Cyber-crime has been defined by the Home Office as an offence “where the reporting officer believes that on the balance of probability, the offence was committed, in full or in part, through a computer, computer network or other computer-enabled device”.

These include offences committed using via email, social media sites, on-line auction and dating sites, Skype and online video gaming networks.

With new legislation, solicitors firms are also expanding in the area. Lincoln-based regional law firm Bridge McFarland has a new specialist internet law service.

Internet law expert Mike Wilson is heading up the new service. He said: “There is a rising tide of problems arising from the growth in the internet and social media.

“Increasingly businesses have been the victims of malicious online postings and breaches of intellectual property rights too.

“Companies often feel powerless when faced with these issues but there are a number of legal avenues that can be pursued.”

Bridge McFarland recently took legal action on behalf of a business in relation to material published online.

The firm ensured that the offending material was quickly removed, with a retraction and apology being provided without the need for formal legal action.