Police volunteers from across North Yorkshire converged in Harrogate on Sunday (15 October 2017) for North Yorkshire Police’s first ever Citizens in Policing conference.
150 Special Constables, Police Support Volunteers and Volunteer Police Cadets attended the event which focused on cybercrime and how volunteers can play a key role in helping members of the public stay safe online.
Chief Constable Dave Jones, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for Citizens in Policing, opened the conference and led a question and answer session later in the day. Mary Bailey, the newly-appointed National Citizens in Policing Coordinator, outlined the new, national strategy for Citizens in Policing.
An impressive line-up of speakers on the key theme of cybercrime included Dr Jeffrey DeMarco, a Research Director for the Crime and Justice team at NatCen Social Research and a senior researcher in forensic psychology and criminology with the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies; Richard De Vere, who is the Principal Consultant for an ethical social engineering consultancy, helping organisations protect themselves against malicious attacks; and Hampshire Constabulary’s Special Chief Officer Tom Haye, who also has a national role within the Digital Investigation and Intelligence programme to lead on the development of Cyber Specials and Cyber Volunteers.
The force’s own Cybercrime Unit was on hand throughout the day to provide advice, support and guidance.
The day also gave volunteers an opportunity to showcase the work they have been doing in their individual roles and to share best practice.
Natasha Almond, Citizens in Policing Coordinator Manager at North Yorkshire Police organised the conference. She said: “This was the first time all our Cadets, Police Support Volunteers and Special Constables have had the opportunity to meet up under one roof to share knowledge and experience, and cement relationships.
“A key focus for us as a police service is cybercrime, and our speakers provided detailed insights into the threats facing people online which will help us to shape the education and advice we deliver to members of the public. The conference also gave us the opportunity to launch our Cybercrime Ambassador recruitment drive which will see volunteers trained to out into the community to provide essential crime prevention advice around this growing area of crime.
Chief Constable Dave Jones, added: “My thanks go to everyone who attended the conference. Our volunteers’ commitment is outstanding and I am humbled that so many took time out of their busy lives to join us and support the event. It’s an exciting time for volunteering in policing and I hope everyone found the day inspiring and informative.”
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