Wiltshire Police cadets have spearheaded a cyber safety campaign during the October half term.
Fifty-two volunteer police cadets, supported by local Neighbourhood Policing Teams, visited 13 towns across the force area. At each location the cadets, aged between 13 – 18, set up a pop-up stand and offered children, young people and adults a variety of cyber awareness signposting information and leaflets.
Cyber crime is rapidly growing and more of the crimes and anti-social behaviour the police deal with will have a cyber element. By raising awareness of cyber safety we can help people to protect themselves. The cadets visited locations across the county including Salisbury, Devizes, Trowbridge, Calne, Chippenham and eight different locations across Swindon.
Wiltshire Police Youth Engagement lead, Sergeant Steve McGlynn, said: “The message is to be ‘polite’ online. We are all aware that many people are all too happy to write a comment online that they wouldn’t dream of saying to that person’s face. This campaign is aimed at getting this message across:
Prepare: think about the content of the message and whether it could be misunderstood.
Only: only send when you have re-read and checked the content.
Look again: could your message upset anyone?
I would be happy to receive this message: that’s a good thing.
Talk face to face: sometimes it may be easier to say what you mean.
Expect a nice reply: we all want to receive nice messages and comments.”
Wiltshire Police’s Cyber Crime Prevention Officer, PC Sarah Young said: “Cyber crime can affect anyone at anytime, through various means and can have devastating financial and emotional impact. It is estimated that 80 per cent of cyber crime can be prevented through simple online safety and general personal security precautions.
“Wiltshire Police is committed to preventing crime and protecting the public and the vulnerable, by raising awareness of cyber prevention and cyber related issues that are often misunderstood.”
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “I’ve been pleased to be supported by the Wiltshire Police cadets at my local market visits and that they are supporting the campaign on cyber crime and educating all members of the public, from young to old.
“The cadets are fine ambassadors for the Force and engage well with both people of their own age and those at the opposite end of the spectrum.”
Pictured Cadets from left to right: Charlie Ruck, Tommy Gibson, Lydia Harper, Lily Ward, Rhiannon Taylor, Ann Shibu, Meghan Buckland