Cybercrime apprentice gets full-time job at Cumbria Constabulary

Peter McCall and Niall McNicholas

Niall McNicholas, 20, completed his apprenticeship in the Cybercrime and Digital Crime Unit at Cumbria Constabulary and subsequently secured a full-time position within the department.

The Cybercrime and Digital Unit, funded by Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall, was launched in May 2019. The department is involved in investigations into all issues of cybercrime, ranging from fraud to online child grooming. Since its launch, it has participated in 156 cybercrimes and 78 investigations into online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Niall’s new role is to: identify and interact with vulnerable people involved in cybercrime; keep young people away from cybercrime; help residents, schools and businesses protect themselves; provide technical support during investigations; and contact every victim that the Cybercrime and Cybercrime Unit comes in contact with and tell them about their crime, how and why it happened and how they can protect themselves from it in the future.

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I am delighted that Niall has completed his apprenticeship so successfully and that his hard work has earned him a place in the unit.

“He has already made a significant contribution to improving cybersecurity for residents and youth across the county.

“Technology is dynamic and advancing and criminals are continually finding new ways to commit crimes online, so it is imperative that the police be equally dynamic in order to locate and bring to justice these criminals, who prey on people. vulnerable and often to the elderly.

“Due to COVID-19, many of us have been shopping and socializing online where we are more susceptible to scams, so there has never been a more important time to have a cybercrime team within. the police.

“The housing tax increase in 2019 funded the creation of the Cybercrime and Digital Crime Unit, money well spent as it helped protect vulnerable adults and children against the risk of becoming victims.

“I want to congratulate Niall for successfully joining the team on a permanent basis, an achievement based on his own merit, hard work and skills. I look forward to seeing his career grow and with it our cyber- ability to fight crime. “

Niall McNicholas said: “Working in the Cybercrime and Digital Crime Unit opened my eyes to the real threat of cybercrime to our communities due to the lack of cybersecurity awareness.

“This role has allowed me to advise the public and victims on simple security measures such as the use of strong passwords, two-factor authentication and phishing email detection.

“I look forward to continuing my career with the unit providing technical knowledge to prosecute cybercriminals and providing advice to businesses and local communities on how to stay safe. “

Ian Harwood, Detective Inspector, said: “Niall has been a fantastic addition since joining our team during his apprenticeship.

“He worked hard and brought innovative ideas on how we better protect people online and how we can use technology to our advantage in investigations.

“Niall has grown so much during his time with us and his strength lies in his interactions with victims of cybercrime, providing them with good, simple advice while reassuring them for the future.

“I have no doubts that Niall will be a great asset to the police and provide first class service to the communities of Cumbria.”


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James F. So