National Cyberstalking Centre Launched
Published by Ellie Warfield for Safety Net Associates Limited in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Education, Environment, Health, Local Government
National Cyberstalking Centre
The National Cyberstalking Centre - "understanding & responding" is a joint initiative between the:
- Safety Net Associates Group (www.safetynetassociates.co.uk), recognised as one of the UK’s leading Crime and Justice Consultants;
- The National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (www.beds.ac.uk/nccr), an interdisciplinary national centre based at the University of Bedfordshire which draws upon the expertise in different fields including technology, psychology and law.
- CyberStalking Unit at Collyer Bristow LLP (www.collyerbristow.com) a well established and leading law firm in the area of cyberstalking, cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying.
The National Cyberstalking Centre will bring together the leading experts and cutting edge research to deliver a range of services for legal professionals, organisations, agencies and individuals in this growing threat, combating its impact on victims, commerce and society.
Cyberstalking can be many things such as identity theft, false profiles or websites, discrediting a victim in the workplace or community, direct threats through email/instant messaging, use of the victim’s image and reputational damage to name just a few.
The British Crime Survey 2009/10 estimated 2.1 million people have been stalked. Social media and the wider online presence of individuals and organisations mean the problem of cyberstalking will continue to grow. Anybody can become a victim of Cyberstalking this includes individuals and organisations alike.
From “Trolling” & cyberbullying to smearing an individual or organisations reputation, the damage caused by Cyberstalking can be massive, and in some cases, fatal.
The National Cyberstalking Centre will offer organisations and individuals real services to combat these real problems. The services include:
- Provision of expert witnesses in civil and criminal litigation
- Media comment from the UK’s leading expert spokespersons in the field to raise awareness
- Investigations for corporate and family litigation
- Executive briefings: Employers duty of care, employers liability for employees actions and commercial damages of Cyberstalking against businesses
- Research and analysis projects
- Third party reporting and advocacy
- Training & qualifications (via the National Stalking Training Academy)
- Protecting organisations against online smearing
- Protecting high value staff assets
The NCC will also work with a network of legal service providers across the UK, sharing its expertise and services. If you are from the legal sector and would like to find out how the NCC can assist you or your clients please contact the NCC for further details.
Speaking of the Launch of the National Cyberstalking Centre Professor Carsten Maple CITP, FBCS said:
"The issue of Cyberstalking is a serious one that has significant impact on individuals, communities and businesses.
We live in an age where information and opinions can be shared very rapidly and very widely from almost any location. This creates problems when the information or opinions are incorrect, malicious or libellous.
We are seeing a growth in such malicious communications, and it is a constant battle to stop the spread of such communications, even in cases where the information has been proved to be false.
The National Centre for Cyberstalking hopes to provide a single point for legal professionals, businesses and individual clients to deal with these issues."
Speaking of the launch of the National Cyberstalking Centre Dr Emma Short C. Psychol, CSci, MSc, AFBPsS, FRSA said:
"The very real impact of cyberstalking is only just beginning to be understood. We now recognise that the effects cause measurable distress and wide ranging effects on the lives of those being victimised. Our aim at the centre is to raise awareness of this and the routes by which it can be managed"
The psychological damage caused by cyberstalking is very real. People who have been victimised in this way have struggled in the past to be heard and responded to; our work at the centre continues to raise awareness of this and to support the development of strategies to overcome this antisocial crime"
Speaking of the launch of the National Cyberstalking Centre Bob Kennett Chairman of the Safety Net Associates Group said:
"We have recognised in our general working with provision of services for victims of stalking that sometimes people are not well served by the responsible agencies or their employers for a variety of reasons, usually through misunderstanding and less than perfect communications on both sides. What was lacking in this area was a professional, joined up and methodical response to these issues.
Most HR departments in even the best corporations are not geared for the menace to key employees or their brand which will quickly diminish performance.
The provision of high quality legal services will help immediately take the further aggravation to victims and their legal representatives of ensuring that criminal matters are expedited to compliment civil actions albeit in family matters or malicious third parties known or anonymous.
By appointing the National Centre for Cyberstalking to act as legal advocate for the range of services such as third party representatives with law enforcement agencies here and abroad, to be able to categorically state via expert witnesses that the behaviour was malicious and caused grievous health and financial damage and to legitimately confront the offender will not only make the offender accountable but also provide means for pursuing compensation.
We are sure that our range of discrete services will provide justice and solace to victims, family members or employees in this increasing menace to society and business."
Rhory Robertson, Partner at London law firm Collyer Bristow LLP and head of the firm's CyberStalking Unit speaking about the launch of the NCC said:
"The NCC will be an invaluable resource to organisations, agencies and individuals affected by cyberstalking in that it will offer a collaborative and practical solution to combating this epidemic problem."
Collyer Bristow LLP is one of the NCC's legal service partners and advises on all aspects of cyberstalking.
The National Cyberstalking Centre - The People:
Professor Carsten Maple CITP, FBCS
Carsten is a Professor of Applicable Computing and the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Enterprise at the University of Bedfordshire.
He is a Director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research and has published over 120 peer reviewed papers and is the author of the UK Security Breaches report supported by the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Police Central e-crime Unit.
He also works with advisors of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Carsten is an executive member of the Committee, and the Chair of the Information Group, of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC). He is also a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Chartered Institute for IT and is a Chartered IT professional.
Carsten has advised governments, agencies and banks around the world and holds two further professorships in China.
DR EMMA SHORT C. Psychol, CSci, MSc, AFBPsS, FRSA
Emma is a Chartered Psychologist based at the University of Bedfordshire, she is registered with the Health Professionals Council as a Practitioner Psychologist in Health Psychology. She is the co director of the National Centre for Cyber stalking Research and is the project lead for an initiative called ECHO (Electronic Communication Harassment Observation), investigating harassment in online environments.
ECHO was commissioned by the Network for Surviving stalking and Emma continues to work closely with them. She also speaks at academic conferences and contributes to academic research in this area. Emma is also a coaching psychologist and co-editor of a leading international journal in the field. In her role as a practitioner she works with individuals affected by bullying and harassment. Her work has given her the opportunity to work as an advisor to government and charitable bodies as well as work with the media, she is a regular contributor to both broadcast and print media.
Bob Kennett FRSA Chartered MCIPD BA
Bob is chairman of the Safety Net Associates Group who were commissioned to complete serious case reviews for the previous Home Secretary where local investigations have not been satisfactorily conducted.
Bob is also the Academic Director for the CSP Academy where he has developed multi-agency qualifications in the field of community justice.
He was a senior detective representing ACPO, ACPOS and BTP as the national expert on how the public use digital technologies to conduct their lives and the interface with the police.
He was appointed as the UK Criminal Justice representative to a G8 committee on how international law enforcement agencies should use the internet and digital communications to assist the public in dealing with the police.
During the London Bombings he advised the cabinet Office on methods to safely remain digitally in touch with the public and on Counter Terrorism matters.
Collyer Bristow LLP’s CyberStalking Unit
The CSU consists of a small team of lawyers who advise victims of cyberstalking, cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying. The CSU is headed up by partner, Rhory Robertson, who works closely with two barristers, leaders themselves in this field, Chris Bryden and Michael Salter.
For further information about the National Cyberstalking Centre visit www.safetynetassociates.co.uk/NCCHome.htm, email NCC@safetynetassociates.co.uk or call 0845 299 7144
Statistics and further information
- The ECHO Pilot study (conducted by the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research) reported that the vast majority of participants (74.2%) reported that they were harassed in more than one environment, with over half being harassed in 3 or more different ways.
- 50% of victims stalked physically and online exhibited symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Results of the survey indicated that over half of the respondents were financially affected by cyberstalking. Overall, 70% of men reported some negative financial change as a result of cyberstalking. This was a greater proportion than of women, of whom 55% had experienced a negative financial impact.
- Nearly a quarter of responses had encountered the expense, and upheaval of moving home and a similar number had paid for additional security measures. The greatest difference between men and women reporting adverse financial changes caused by cyberstalking was the higher reporting by men of the direct loss of money as a consequence.
- The most recent survey commissioned by Bains Cohen Solicitors (1027 people surveyed) states 53% of all people surveyed had received indecent or grossly offensive communications. 32% of all surveyed had received threatening or harassing electronic communications.
The Safety Net Associates Group - www.safetynetassociates.co.uk
The Safety Net Associates Group are recognised as one of the leading Crime and Justice Consultants with over 900 organisational clients throughout the UK. The group has headed a number of successful initiatives including the UK’s only national programme of training and qualifications for practitioners in the justice sector around Anti Social Behaviour, Stalking, Restorative Justice and Community Safety.
The National Cyberstalking Research Centre (NCCR) http://www.beds.ac.uk/nccr
The NCCR is an interdisciplinary national centre based at the University of Bedfordshire which draws upon the expertise in different fields including technology, psychology, sociology and law.
Collyer Bristow LLP http://www.collyerbristow.com/
Collyer Bristow LLP is a UK firm of solicitors with 33 partners and over 140 staff. Their corporate clients range from large multinational groups to owner / managers of private companies, operating in sectors as diverse as media, specialist chemicals, aviation and defence and fashion. For these types of clients they can provide a wide range of legal services including corporate and commercial advice, finance, real estate, intellectual property, brand management and sponsorship, risk and reputation management and dispute resolution.
Although based in central London, Collyer Bristow LLP’s clients come from around the country and indeed from around the world. In 2004 they opened an office in Geneva, from where they provide a range of commercial and private client services to their expanding client base in the area.
National Stalking Training Academy - www.cspacademy.ac.uk/NationalStalkingTrainingAcademy.htm
The National Stalking Training Academy is a partnership between the NSS (Network for Surviving Stalking) who are internationally recognised as the leading Registered Charity in the United Kingdom dedicated to supporting victims of stalking, the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research and the Safety Net Associates Group.
The National Stalking Training Academy provides specialised training to agencies, organisations and individuals who deal with or have a duty of care to those who are either affected by, or are at risk from stalking.