The number of cybercrimes recorded by the Scottish police has more than tripled in a year, according to Scottish newspaper The Herald.
In an article published yesterday, the paper said that new statistics released by the force show that from April to September this year, 4,495 cybercrimes were recorded, including stalking, sexual crimes, and fraud.
The figures represent an increase of 315% when compared to the same time period in 2018.
The total figure of recorded cybercrimes could climb higher as data has not yet been received from all divisions.
Police told the Scottish newspaper that the jump in recorded cybercrimes could be down to better detection and identification techniques rather than a sudden electronic crime-wave.
“We did not have the means with some of the legacy technology to adequately capture the digital element of all the things that are happening. Now with a bit more sophistication, we can capture the digital nature of a whole series of different crimes,” said Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham.
The Scottish police are currently running a “Tag it, Mark it, Log it” campaign to encourage officers and staff to identify and mark any crimes that are found to have a cyber-element.
Graham said: “There is not an offense of cybercrime, so we are looking at other crimes that have a digital element.”
Graham said that cybercrime had moved far beyond the public perception of targeted attacks and was now closely interwoven with almost all forms of criminality.
“It’s without boundaries. The victims and the perpetrators are not necessarily going to be in the same place. It might be domestic abuse, it might be an organized crime group based in the same area.”
“But the growing experience is that the victims and the perpetrators are dislocated, nationally, and potentially internationally, so a big element of this is our ability to work with other national and international law enforcement agencies, the National Crime Agency, the security services, and to grow that cooperation to sharing info we need so people in other jurisdictions can be held to account.”
According to Graham, of all the crimes the modern police face, “the vast majority” feature an electronic or digital element either in their execution or in their detection.
“Every crime type certainly could have a digital footprint. I am not saying every single crime would. But there is always going to be some element of evidence that is digital,” said Graham.
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