The Yorkshire and Humber Cyber Crime Prevent team can help to deter and disrupt cyber dependant crime through a combination of free education and awareness training and through the use of more traditional policing methods.
The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit (RCCU) is a small team of Police Officers and Police Staff that is part of a joint working partnership between South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside Police forces. The regional unit forms part of a national Prevent network headed by the National Crime Agency.
Our Prevent team:
- DS Damian Speare - Prevent Regional Supervisor
- PC Steven Swinscoe - Prevent Regional Co-Ordinator
- PC Chris Eastwood - Prevent Regional Co-Ordinator
Our Referral Form, for reporting someone who may be involved in cyber crime, advice or help:
and email the referral form to:
It is not our intention to seek to criminalise young people who are looking to develop their cyber skills and expertise however we believe it is vitally important to educate and raise awareness for everyone regarding the safe and legal use of technology and in particular the internet.
Did you know? The average age of someone arrested for a cyber crime is just 17 years old.
Did you know? There will be an expected shortfall of approximately 1.8 million within the cyber security sector by 2022.
It may sound far-fetched but research suggests individuals can be addicted to technology and to the internet. Such behaviour may assist in identifying those individuals already committing, or those at risk of committing, cyber dependant crime. Often this can involve young people who are unwittingly or unknowingly committing cyber offences.
A typical indicator of cyber offending might be the use of the Dark Net and a Tor browser, unexpected wealth and the use of crypto currencies, or the development of online friendships via hacker forums. It is important to know that these indicators mean nothing without substance but if you are a worried parent, or concerned for an individual, then the Prevent network could help educate and signpost young people away from criminality prior to any reputational damage occurring.
We have included some more information below regarding cyber dependant crime, The Computer Misuse Act 1990 and some further resources to help learn the skills needed for a successful future in the cyber security industry.
Cyber crime: Preventing young people from getting involved.
There are more and more teenagers and young people 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.
What is cyber crime?
Cyber crime can be split into two broad categories:
- Cyber-dependent crimes (or ‘pure’ cyber crimes) are offences that can only be committed using a computer, computer networks or other forms of information communications technology (ICT). An example of a cyber-dependent crime is gaining unauthorised access into someone’s computer network, this can also be called ‘hacking’.
- Cyber-enabled crimes such as fraud, the purchasing of illegal drugs and child sexual exploitation, can be conducted online or offline, when online may take place at an unprecedented scale and speed.
Examples of cyber dependant crime include:
- Unauthorised access – This involves gaining access into someone’s computer network without their permission, and then taking control and/or taking information from other people’s computers. Examples may include accessing the secure area on the school’s computer network and looking for test paper answers or trying to change test scores.
- Making, supplying or obtaining malware (malicious software), viruses, spyware, botnets and remote access Trojans (RATS) - It is illegal and these programmes allow criminals to get into other people’s computers to carry out illegal activities. ‘Pranking’ by remotely accessing a friend’s computer without their knowledge is still illegal.
- Carrying out a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack or 'booting'- A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with internet traffic from multiple sources. ‘Online service’ could be a large website or an individual internet user. Booting someone offline whilst playing online games may seem like a harmless joke but is still illegal.
Cyber crime is a serious criminal offence under The Computer Misuse Act (1990). The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK law enforcement are serious about tackling cyber crime.
Young people getting involved with cyber crime could face:
- A visit and warning from police or NCA officers
- Computers being seized and being prevented from accessing the internet
- A penalty or fine
- Being arrested
- Up to life in prison for the most serious offences
A permanent criminal record could affect education and future career prospects, as well as potential future overseas travel.
Offences under The Computer Misuse Act 1990 include:
- Section 1 > Unauthorised access to computer material.
Example: Without them knowing, you watched your friend put their password into their phone. You then used it to gain access to their phone and download their photos.
Max penalty: 2 Years in Prison.
- Section 2 > Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences.
Example: Without their permission, you accessed your friend's smartphone, obtaining their bank details, so you could transfer money from their account.
Max penalty: 5 Years in Prison.
- Section 3 > Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of a computer.
Example: You used a ‘booter tool’ to knock a friend offline from an online game.
Max penalty: 10 Years in Prison
- Section 3ZA > Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage.
Example: You hacked in to the computer system of a Government Agency and were reckless as to the consequences. National security was undermined.
Max penalty: LIFE in Prison
- Section 3A > Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in another CMA offence.
Example: You download a product to deploy malware to a friend's computer, so you could control it. You don’t even get the chance to use it.
Max penalty: 2 Years in Prison.
Our Awareness Video.
Yorkshire and humberside regional cyber crime unit are pleased to share videos created by us using a local production company called KLTV.
- YHROCU Prevent Awareness:
About Us - Presentation.
Please also view our presentation which explains the work we are doing in further detail:
Skills in coding, gaming, computer programming, cyber security or anything IT-related are in high demand and there are many careers and opportunities available to anyone with an interest in these areas.
Reasons to look for a career in cyber security include:
- Whatever your skills or interests there is something for everyone – a number of organisations offer internships, insight days and apprenticeships
- A good salary from the start and attractive benefit packages
- These career choices are in high demand not just in the UK but also abroad-which means young people have an opportunity to travel to new places whilst learning new cyber skills
- Being part of a dynamic industry – never a dull day with the opportunity to keep refreshing skills and expanding their knowledge of the cyber-world
- Highly transferable skills that can be applied to any industry
- Becoming a ‘ pdf digital defender (1.26 MB)’ by helping companies and people to stay safe and fight cyber crime
Careers in Cyber Security:
- Penetration Tester/ Certified Ethical Hacker
- Security Analyst or Engineer
- Security Incident Responder
- Information Assurance Analyst
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Pathways into a career in Cyber Security:
- Degree or Degree Apprenticeship
- Self-Qualification (For example: online course offerings or fast track courses from big name providers.)
There are hundreds of organisations and resources to help young people develop cyber skills. Listed below is a small selection:
- National Crime Agency – Prevent
- The Digital Defenders Program - If you are still at school and thinking about a career in cyber security, you may also be interested in this guide that shows you how you can become a Digital Defender. Please download and view in Acrobat for the best experience.
- Cyber Security Challenge - a series of national competitions, learning programmes and networking in coding and programming.
- Cyber Centurion – Cyber Centurion is a competition that led by Northrop Grumman, in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK and mirrors the US CyberPatriot competition. It is open to anyone with an interest in cyber, defence, puzzles and code breaking.
- Cyber Discovery
- Launched by the UK Government, Cyber Discovery is a fun and interactive extracurricular learning programme designed to give young people the opportunity to learn the skills needed to enter in to the cyber security profession.
- GCHQ Careers – Here you can find out about what jobs with the tech industry your skills match.
- GCHQ’s Cyber First programme for University Students, Apprenticeships and Summer Schools for teenagers.
- Ensia – European Union Agency for Network and Information Security has an active in the area of education and awareness of cyber, including European Cyber Security Challenge
- Video Game Ambassadors – Part of UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment), learn what it is like to become a game developer or how to get a job in the gaming industry.
- Cyber Games Website – Various educational games around cyber security
- Code Academy – Learn code for free
- Hacksplaining - Learn about all of the major vulnerabilities that threaten your system.
- Simons Sing’s The Black Chamber – Cipher’s and Cryptography
- Future Learn - Free online courses from top universities and specialist organisations
- Rangeforce - Game-based online cyber security training for developers, devops and security experts.
- Cybrary - Cybrary provides completely free Cyber Security training classes
Where can i seek further help and advice?
If you have a concern about anybody you feel might be involved in cyber crime and you need some help and advice, then please fill out the following form:
and email it to:
Speak Anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website:
Please also see our Protect page. The team are working to keep you safe online both at home and at work. They offer free awareness and educational training to a variety of audiences such as SME's, charities and academia.