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Police cyber-crime work wins award

Posted onPosted on 25th Oct

Work being conducted in Nottinghamshire to tackle and prevent cyber crime has earned the force a national award.

Kirsty Jackson, one of Nottinghamshire Police’s Cyber Protect and Prevent officers, partnered with teacher and TV personality Baasit Siddiqui in February to provide children with online lesson plans and host a competition to get children creating pieces of work that would educate their peers on Cyber Security.

The campaign also aimed to help children learn to understand key phrases, password security and find out why it’s so important to protect themselves as well as friends and family online.

The interactive lessons included questioning around the Computer Misuse Act to help them understand online crimes and the consequences of committing these offences.

Nearly 14,500 students completed the lesson plans, spanning 55 schools, and the fact they were online meant they were able to be adapted as the county came under the second period of lockdown restrictions, which were introduced just as the lesson plans were being launched.

The work has now earned Kirsty a National Cyber Award, which recognises work being done in police forces to protect and prevent cyber-crime, and she was in Cheltenham for the awards ceremony.

Kirsty said: “This was an extremely rewarding project to lead on and I am delighted that it has received national recognition.

“We tasked children who were in year five, six, seven and eight to create a piece of work highlighting key cyber protect advice and it was really positive having so many of them take part.

“This is an innovative way to expand key education. The lessons were designed to help avoid children falling victim to cyber-crime and from committing online offences. A lot of the time we find that children aren’t always aware that they’ve broken the law or of the consequences of doing so when online.

“Over the first lockdown, I noticed how much more children were taking to the digital world, getting involved in gaming, relying more on the internet as a daily necessity, and I realised it was a perfect time to develop a campaign and really push to educate children on what they need to consider when going online. That’s how this competition and these lesson plans really came to fruition.

“The awards ceremony was a wonderful experience, I was simply happy to be there as a nominee, so when they called my name out as the winner, I was taken aback but immensely happy.

“Having the support from Baasit Siddiqui, social media support from our media colleagues and sponsorship for the fantastic prizes, really helped the project’s success, especially considering the challenges of being in a lockdown”

Det Sgt Dave Beach, from the force’s cyber crime team, said: “We are always looking at our prevention and early intervention work, and especially in a time when more people are taking to technology, the internet and social media at a younger age, it’s really important that they know what they can and can’t do as early as possible, so they don’t accidentally commit a crime.

“This competition was extremely successful and, as a result, Kirsty, alongside Siddiqui Education, reached a huge number of children with engaging lesson plans as well as a competition which allowed them to put the information, they learned across in a way which was understandable for all of them.

“The award was well deserved and is a testament to Kirsty’s dedication and hard work to engage with the right people and deliver something fantastic. Many congratulations.”