MP COLUMN: Cybercrime is a constant threat with cases rocketing

We all dread coming home or, worse, coming downstairs in the morning to find we’ve been turned over.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:00 am
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.

There were 268,000 victims of burglaries last year and the sense of vulnerability never quite fades.

But burglaries are not the most common invasion of our lives and the theft of our hard earned property and money.

Last year there were three million victims of bank fraud and nearly two million victims of cybercrime such as hacking and malware.

And cybercrime is a constant threat to small and large businesses too.

Cybercrime has rocketed and now accounts for 40% of all crime.

Vera Baird, the national victims commissioner, rightly says that fraud is an endemic within the pandemic.

Of course, we need to be vigilant and careful with our passwords and what information we divulge to strangers.

But so many cases I have seen and read about show how easy it is to be suckered if we even briefly let our guard down.

Vera also argues that the criminal justice system has long treated fraud as the poor relation to more straightforward crimes.

Fraud, she says, is under-reported, under-prioritised, and under-investigated while victims are under-supported.

Tackling this wave of often sophisticated fraud by organised crime groups requires much more concerted action by the state and online commerce companies.

Otherwise, more people will lose wages, savings, and pensions.

But ministers indulge in cheap public relations stunts to appear to be tough on crime.

They need to do the hard graft and increase our confidence in online commerce.

We need to do more to snuff out the heartbreaking fraud that disfigures people’s lives.