The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust has been securing the homes of older people for nearly 20 years. Responding to the changing needs of the County, they are working in partnership with Wiltshire Police to launch a bespoke Online Safety Initiative.
If you are aged over 60 or registered disabled, aged 18+ and are concerned about your online safety; you will now be able to request a visit from one of our trained Online Safety Volunteers.
Bobby Van OnLine Safety Advisors have been interviewed and trained by Wiltshire Police to deliver the new initiative across Swindon and Wiltshire. They are working together with the Police to maintain an awareness of current computer crimes and to ensure advice is up to date with the ever changing scams.
Volunteer, Alan Pollard says, “Increasingly today’s world is reliant on access to, and some ability with, computers and the internet.
Sadly there are two consequences of this. The first is that shopping, entertainment and social interactions are conducted online and physical outlets like shops, post offices and advice centres are becoming less plentiful. This creates problems for the vulnerable and older people who can become isolated and unable to access many basic services.
The second consequence is the rapid growth of online (cyber) crime which exploits the vulnerable and unwary who are often very naive and trusting.
Coupled with bewilderment about technology they are easy prey for fraudsters and conmen. The Bobby Van Online Safety Volunteer scheme is a much needed additional crime prevention resource.”
Wiltshire Bobby Van Director, Jennie Shaw explains, “Computer crime is one of the fastest growing crimes targeting the Over 60’s. The aim of the volunteers will be to visit the client’s home to offer a tailored service to improve their awareness of on line security and help them to identify potential risks.
If an offence has been committed, the client will be encouraged to report it via 101.
Our advisors will be happy to provide talks and presentations to wider community groups. Raising awareness through education is the key to its success.”
All Police Officers have been provided with information on how to refer eligible members of the public to the initiative and posters are available to raise awareness of the service. These can be downloaded from The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust website.
Sgt Vincent Logue says, “The Bobby Van Trust is already a well-established and trusted Charity in Wiltshire, with it now offering the Stay Safe Online service, it will give vital knowledge to those within our community who might otherwise become victims of computer crime.
The service will allow people to protect themselves and their families against this growing and sinister crime type. I would like to thank our fantastic volunteers who have come forward to give up their own time to deliver this service, free of charge, to those who need it.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: One of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan is to protect the most vulnerable in society, and I am grateful to the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and their volunteers for all the work they do in our communities.
Cybercrime is a growing concern which doesn’t discriminate and knows no boundaries. Whether you have grown up with the internet or have discovered it later in life, we all need to be more aware of the hidden dangers online.
I am pleased to see the partnership work between Wiltshire Police and The Bobby Van Trust. The Online Safety Initiative will inform and educate about the importance of cyber security, providing an invaluable service to help to keep our communities safe.
The pilot launched on the 2 May 2017 and is believed to be the first of its kind in the Country.