“Don't Cross the Line to Cyber Crime”

SchoolBeat and TARIAN Launch Cyber Crime Prevention Initiative

Sadly more and more teenagers and young people are getting involved in cyber crime. Many do it for fun without realising the consequences of their actions – but the penalties can be severe. Cyber crime isn't a victimless crime and is taken extremely seriously by law enforcement.

Research suggests that the average age of a cyber-criminal is lower than for traditional crime types. Information gathered from offenders also suggests that there is a low perceived risk of encountering law enforcement on line, along with the perception of anonymity that goes with it. In Wales there are teenagers and young people who have committed and are committing serious Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA) offences, and related offences like Blackmail. Several have been prosecuted for these offences.

In an attempt to increase awareness about the seriousness and the possible implications of cyber crime Tarian, the Regional Crime unit of Southern Wales, in collaboration with the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme (AWSLCP) or SchoolBeat and the Welsh Government have created a short film called; Don't Cross the Line to Crime, highlighting this issue and dealing with the possible consequences.

The film, which is aimed at 11–14 year olds, portrays a young man called Jack and follows him throughout a day. He discusses a fabulous job offer that he's had and looks forward to a career in cyber security. The story takes a surprising twist when he reveals that he committed serious offences such as hacking into networks and stealing bank details. He then describes how he got investigated by the police and later had his dream job offer withdrawn because he had been convicted of a crime.

The message is a simple one: “Don't cross the line to cyber crime”.

The short film will form part of a cyber-crime lesson to be delivered by SchoolBeat officer that is being developed by SchoolBeat and Tarian, and will be available to all secondary school pupils throughout Wales to help them make the right cyber choices.

Pam Kelly, Deputy Chief Constable, Gwent Police is the Welsh National Police Chiefs Council lead on Cyber Crime.  DCC Kelly said

“I warmly welcome this collaboration between law enforcement, SchoolBeat and Welsh Government in developing a specific cybercrime lesson.  We all know that young people have an innate curiosity and adeptness in using technology.  These skills are a potentially fantastic asset to our society however we have seen how young people can fall prey to becoming involved in cyber-criminality, sometimes inadvertently.   I'm confident this collaboration will have a positive impact in educating young people about  the dangers of cybercrime, while opening their eyes to the wonderful career opportunities they have within cyber security right here in Wales.”

Faith McCready, National Lead for the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme commented:

“The core purpose of SchoolBeat is to safeguard children and through our crime prevention education programme help them understand the risks that exist in society and give them the information to help them keep safe. The film will help young people understand the dangers of getting involved in cyber crime. What might seem to be a challenge and fun, low risk and victimless  can have serious consequences – both for victims, and the young person committing the online crime.  Lives can be ruined and the prospect of a good career can be lost.

“The relationships the SchoolBeat officers have with children and young people across all Wales is unique and fosters trust and confidence in the key messages we deliver.”

Paul Peters, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector, Regional Cyber Crime Unit TARIAN ROCU added:

“Young people are being reported to the police for hacking into their school or other local and national networks. This is often done as a challenge or game with little or no awareness of the consequences. Fortunately, for most they are stopped from 'crossing the line to cyber crime'.  We meet some as part of a cease and desist process to raise awareness of the Computer Misuse Act. Young people can then be referred to national diversion workshops outlining ways in which they could develop their interests in computers and put their cyber skills to good use. However, for those who cross the line the law requires prosecution and this is what we are trying to prevent.

“This collaboration between law enforcement, SchoolBeat and Welsh Government in developing a specific cyber crime lesson is innovative and will help prevent crime. I have no doubt it will have a positive impact in educating young people about the dangers of cyber crime, whilst opening their eyes to the wonderful career opportunities they have within cyber security right here in Wales.”

As well as the film Sinister Substances, a new bilingual, Lower Key Stage 2 lesson for SchoolBeat is also being launched.  The main stimulus in this lesson is a fun, animated story, written in the style of the Horrible Histories series. Learners are introduced to the sinister substances contained in Tobacco, Alcohol and Solvents, as they are concocted in a cauldron by a sinister scientist.  Through the use of a story book and an animation the lesson helps learners to begin to understand the facts, harmful effects and laws around these substances.  Teacher resources have also been created for further development of the themes in the lesson and are available in the teacher section of the SchoolBeat website.  Additionally, the pupil section offers learners an opportunity to find out more about sinister substances they might encounter. The lesson is part of the suite of Substances lessons available to all children and young people from 5 – 16 years of age.  Schools across Wales are able to work alongside their SchoolBeat officer to tackle any instances of substance misuse and to safeguard their pupils.


Notes to Editors

The event being sponsored by Llyr Gruffydd AM and speakers at the event will include Deputy Chief Constable Pam Kelly Welsh National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Cyber Crime and Faith McCready National Lead All Wales School Liaison Core Programme.

Interview opportunities are available in both English and Welsh – for more details contact Faith.McCready[at]south-wales.pnn.police[dot]uk

The film can be viewed here:
Welsh: https://youtu.be/1WHyrjGRaS4
English: https://youtu.be/PJ0KddbbxrE

The All Wales School Liaison Core Programme also known as SchoolBeat is a crime prevention programme funded jointly by the Welsh Government and the 4 Welsh Police Forces. The intention of the Programme is to safeguard all children and young people living in Wales by providing them with current up to date information about the risks associated with such issues as substance use and misuse, domestic abuse, CSE, bullying, anti-social behaviour, internet safety, weapons, mobile phone usage, car crime and racism.