Cyber Prevent Officer appointed within Northumbria Police to educate young people on safe use of technology

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Wayne Imrie, who has worked for the force since 2004, is taking on the role of Cyber Prevent Officer.

Northumbria Police have announced a new Cyber Prevent Officer, who will support and educate young people in safe use of technology.

Wayne Imrie, who has worked for the force since 2004, originally as a case management officer before moving to the Safeguarding Department, has now taken on the role within the Cyber team.

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Wayne is said to be “determined to make a difference” in his new role, which will see him supporting and engaging with young people, who have a passion for technology.

Wayne will educate those individuals on the Computer Misuse Act, raising awareness of the act, in the hopes of giving them a better understanding of what constitutes a cyber crime, to prevent offending.

Wayne said: “Young people with strong cyber and tech skills are the workforce of the future and it’s important that we encourage them to use and apply their talents ethically and safely.

“So much of our personal information is stored in clouds and servers and could be vulnerable in the wrong hands. We know that many hackers and criminals wouldn’t think twice about goading and exploiting a young person with the relevant skills into accessing something they shouldn’t or challenging them to get behind a firewall or carry out a denial-of-service attack.

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He continued: “While these may seem like fun challenges which test the limits of a skill-set they are actually really serious offences which can come with very serious consequences.

“This is why I deliver educational workshops which raise awareness of the Computer Misuse Act and ultimately help prevent young people from offending.

“We want to encourage teenagers to push the limits and boundaries in a safe and legal way so they can eventually secure jobs and have prosperous industry careers.

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“For many parents this may seem like an alien world but the good news is that you can help as there are so many resources and a wealth of information available online.

“Cybercrime is a huge national priority for policing and here at Northumbria Police, we are keen to play our role in keeping people, their data, and their devices safe as part of our continued activity under the banner of Operation Sentinel.”

Wayne can deliver talks on cyber crime at schools and organisations in the region. To request a visit, please write to the ‘Tell Us Something’ page on the Northumbria Police website.