August 2022: A message from Avon & Somerset PCC

July 25 2022

Protect yourself against cyber fraud

AS I’ve mentioned before, I am the national police and crime commissioner lead for economic and cybercrime and, along with my team, I continue to work with Avon and Somerset Police and partners to raise awareness of the signs of fraud and prevent local people from becoming victims in the first place.

As part of this work, we have distributed fraud protection postcards to over 160,000 households across 60 postcodes in Avon and Somerset. You can find this postcard in this edition of the Voice, for you to cut out and keep beside your phone, pin on your fridge or by your front door. I want local people to use this postcard, so if and when a scammer contacts you, you know how to spot the signs of fraud and protect yourself. The postcard is also available on my website to download and print.

Moving on, I’m delighted to tell you about the fantastic results of the latest Operation Scorpion, the regional crackdown on drugs. Colleagues across the South West region carried out operations to disrupt drug supply and prevent drug crime, alongside carrying out preventative, educational and engagement work within communities.

In Avon and Somerset there were almost 700 acts of disruption, including 17 arrests for drug-related offences, 12 warrants in relation to properties and people linked to drug supply, two county lines disrupted, thousands of pounds worth of class A drugs and cannabis seized and 147 visits or safeguarding checks to addresses of vulnerable people.

These results are sending a strong message to both criminals and our communities that we are intent on making the South West no place for drugs. The first priority in my police and crime plan is preventing and fighting crime, and not only does this include important enforcement activity but also education work, to make our communities a safer place.

Finally, local businesses can now access Police CyberAlarm, a free tool designed to help organisations understand and monitor the threat they face from malicious cyber activity. Police CyberAlarm, which is government funded, acts like a CCTV camera and monitors the traffic seen by business connections to the internet. The tool will show local businesses how they are being attacked, the source of the attack and will also help law enforcement identify current
threats to take action against cyber criminals.

Police CyberAlarm can benefit any business with a computer network, including SMEs, not for profit organisations, public and private sector, charities, education establishments and local government. More information about this tool is on my website, avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk.