A HIGH profile event is being opened this month aimed at improving internet security after Warwickshire's police and crime commissioner said cyber crime is a fast-growing and challenging threat which needs to be tackled head-on.

Mr Ball, who is sponsoring a cyber crime conference and workshop hosted by Coventry University in conjunction with Warwickshire and West Mercia Police, said he was delighted to provide a platform for discussing ways of tackling what’s become a “new frontier” in criminal activity.

“I’m looking forward to opening the conference on May 23, bringing together a range of people with an interest in cyber security issues, including educators, businesses, law enforcers and various other authorities.

“Traditional crime such as burglary and robbery have declined year on year but in contrast, cyber crime is growing at a rapid pace. There needs to be a co-ordinated approach to counter this trend with everyone showing greater awareness and taking action to step up online security.”

He said most people would not consider leaving their home or car unlocked but did not always think seriously about security when using the Internet.

“We are two and a half times more likely to become a victim of internet fraud than any other crime. The cost of internet-related criminality is estimated at between £18 and £27 billion, yet in truth, the figure is much higher.”

During the conference and workshop, Warwickshire’s deputy police and crime commissioner Eric Wood will chair a “Question Time” style debate alongside David Booth, the former GCHQ head of information risk management, Dr Emma Philpott, founder of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster, and John Unsworth, head of intelligence at the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

The event’s technology workshops will simulate real-time cyber security challenges to help improve awareness of risk, ability to spot a computer attack and knowledge of how to prevent it.

Anyone interested in securing one of the event’s few remaining places should email karen.collins@westmercia.pnn.police.uk.