Thousands of people in the UK are likely to be falling victim to sextortion every year, according to the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs Council.
Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online and then persuade them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam. These webcam images are recorded by the criminals who then threaten to share them with the victims’ friends and family unless they are paid. Sometimes there are escalating requests for further payment. At least four suicides in the UK have been linked to this form of blackmail.
The NCA’s Anti-Kidnap and Extortion Unit (AKEU) has been alerted by police forces to 864 cases of financially motivated webcam blackmail so far in 2016*, more than double the figure from the whole of the previous year (385). Officers believe there is likely to be significant under-reporting and that actual numbers are much higher.
Victims in the NCA cases are aged between 14 and 82, with the highest proportion being men aged between 21 and 30, and with a substantial proportion in the 11-20 age group.
In response to the increase, the NCA and NPCC have launched a new campaign to give advice to those who have been, or are likely to be, targeted.
The campaign includes a film aimed at the most vulnerable victims, helping them to recognise a potential criminal approach and providing online advice, including the importance of reporting the crime to their local police.
Advice for victims
• DON’T PANIC - The police will take your case seriously, will deal with it in confidence and will not judge you for being in this situation. You are not alone.
• DON’T PAY - Many victims who have paid have continued to get more demands for higher amounts of money. In some cases, even when the demands have been met the offenders will still go on to post the videos. If you have already paid, check to see if the money has been collected. If it has, and if you are able, then make a note of where it was collected from. If it hasn't, cancel the payment.
• DON’T COMMUNICATE further with the criminals. Take screen shots of all your communication. Suspend your Facebook account (but don’t delete it) and use the online reporting process to report the matter to Skype, YouTube etc. to have any video blocked and to set up an alert in case the video resurfaces. Deactivating the Facebook account temporarily rather than shutting it down will mean data is preserved and will help police to collect evidence.
• PRESERVE EVIDENCE - Make a note of all details provided by the offenders and DO NOT DELETE ANY CORRESPONDENCE.
And finally, remember, you are the victim of organised criminals, you are not alone and confidential support is available.
Crime prevention advice issued following thefts from outbuildings in East Hampshire.
This is a message sent via Hampshire Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary
(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)
Message sent by James Pusey (Police, Corporate Communications, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)
Officers across East Hampshire are reminding residents to keep their outbuildings secure.
In the last fortnight 31 non-dwelling burglaries have been reported across the district where outbuildings, which have sometimes been insecure, have been targeted by thieves. For example one incident on Standford Lane in the Bordon area saw two chainsaws taken from a stable building at some point between October 14 and 24.
As the nights are getting darker over the winter we'd like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following crime prevention advice:
General home and outbuilding security
• Keep the boundaries of your property well-maintained and secure to keep out unwanted visitors
• Ensure all doors and windows are shut and locked when not in use.
• Ensure windows and door frames are in good repair.
• Fit adequate locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings and consider fitting shutters or grilles to windows, or blocking them completely
• Fit good quality window locks
• Consider fitting a monitored home intruder alarm
• Check security equipment regularly to ensure it works properly.
• Install automatic security lights that come on at dusk and go off at dawn.
• Help make your property look occupied by fitting timer switches to lamps in different rooms and set them to come on at staggered times.
• Make sure the manufacturer's instructions are adhered to at all times when using electrical security devices.
CCTV and intruder alarms
• Consider installing CCTV to provide formal surveillance to the most vulnerable areas of the property.
• Consider installing an audible and monitored intruder alarm system.
• Leave vehicles out of sight when not in use.
• Vehicles and plant equipment should be locked when left outside and the keys kept in your possession or in a locked key safe.
• Consider the use of hitch locks, wheel clamps or ground anchors. You may require a combination of the above to meet insurance requirements.
• All property, including vehicles and tools, should be uniquely marked, photographed and details such as serial, chassis and model numbers recorded.
The purpose of marking property is:
• To reduce the payoff to the thief – traceable property may be more difficult to sell on
• To increase the likelihood of identifying property as stolen – thereby assisting prosecution
• To increase the likelihood of re-uniting property with the owner
There are a number of methods for marking property effectively.
• Covertly – for example through use of Forensic DNA marker as liquid, gel or grease; UV pen; tracking or tagging technology; micro-marking.
• Overtly – by engraving/chemical etching; labels; postcoding or use of bar codes.
Your local Longmoor Neighbourhood Policing Team needs your help in setting the Local Community Policing Priorities for your area for the next 3 months. In order to ensure that we are working effectively in the community, we need you to tell us what issues are affecting you the most. Our aim is to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and crime and increase confidence in the Police; as well as to make your neighbourhood a safer place to live and work. We will give you information that indicates where the demand for Police resources is located. All we ask is that you spare 5 minutes to complete this survey to give us a clear understanding of the issues that matter to you. We will use these results, along with Police and partner agency data, to set our priorities for the next 3 months.
Please click on the following link:
PCSO 13456 PAYNE.
I have always believed effective policing is at the heart of healthy society. That is why Hampshire Constabulary can't afford to just maintain its position as a good police force. It must become a standard bearer for protecting the most vulnerable and reducing offending. And, as your new Chief Constable, I am excited about taking on this challenge.
A key part of success will remain catching those who prey on the vulnerable, but we can't just respond to victims when they have suffered. We need to be better at preventing offending in the first place. This includes safeguarding the vulnerable, not least those at risk of child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. None of this can be done by the police acting alone.
The cases we deal with can be complex and the unfortunate truths are that that we tend to deal with people on their most difficult days and much of the sophisticated work that goes on behind the scenes to stop people becoming victims cannot be widely publicised. This means that what my officers, staff and those who volunteer their help do every day is important, but so is why and how.
If the police are seen to act arrogantly or as if they have a right to do as they wish public confidence becomes damaged and victims are not put first. To be an effective police officer, let alone chief constable, you need to earn the trust and respect of all communities. That is what decades of British policing has been built upon. So everything we do must be rooted in the highest standards of integrity and transparency. You deserve nothing less from us.
Our communities are wonderfully rich, diverse and deserving of brilliant policing. I want ideas, voices, perspectives and experience beyond the traditional spheres. I would like to use this opportunity on day one in my new role to invite all of you to join me, to work with me and to support my staff and officers.
In return we will become even better at protecting you and safeguarding the most vulnerable in society. And, as your Chief Constable, I will work tirelessly to make sure that what we do is as transparent as possible and to explain the difficult decisions when we have to make them.
Together we can keep this one of the safest places to live in the country and stop those who make people's lives a misery.
Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance, creating and maintaining a caring community and reducing opportunities for crime by increasing crime prevention awareness.
To assist the police in detecting crime by promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.
To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly amongst the more vulnerable members of the community.
To improve police/community liaison by providing effective communications which warn Co-ordinators of local crime trends which they can disseminate to their scheme members, and by members informing the police of incidents when they occur.
Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
The City of London Police, in partnership with Get Safe Online, has put together a National Cyber Crime Survey. Its purpose is to learn about people’s awareness of online safety and experiences of cybercrime, with a view to improve our knowledge and understanding and to help provide a better response to victims. The results will help police forces gain a better idea of the challenges they are facing. If you have a spare 15 minutes, we would be grateful if you could complete a short questionnaire. The link can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CybercrimeSurvey2016
I was delighted to be invited as Chairman of the East Hampshire Community Safety Partnership to the 'Close to Home - Preventing Violent Extremism' Conference at Winchester on Friday 14th October.
The speakers occupy high profile positions and were very knowledgable and interesting. The Agenda included:
- Making you, your family and community safer
- A practitioners journey in counter-extremism
- H&IOW threat assessment
- Introduction to the National strategy
- PREVENT Strategy for H&IOW.
The presentations were followed by table discussions, feedback and conclusions.
I was particularly interested in the counter-terrorism item not least because the speaker had a deep understanding of such as radicalisation way beyond my previous level of knowledge. The Safeguarding, Quality and Assurance Service Manager at HCC, a member of the HIOW Prevent Partnership Board, reviewed the PREVENT Strategy and explained how PREVENT work and existing community safety processes may interact with each other.
Michael Lane, the Police and Crime Commissioner for H&IOW reaffirmed his promise to all residents across our policing area is to make people and their families safer.