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The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust provides Stay Safe Online SUPPORT over the phone

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THE Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust proudly launched a free and essential new scheme in 2017 to help older people and those with disabilities stay safe online. It was the first service of its kind in the UK and has been accessed by over 1800 people in Wiltshire.

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust is an independent charity which for 22 years has provided an invaluable home security service. It works in partnership with Wiltshire Police.

In addition to its work helping to make people’s homes safe and secure, the Trust recognised that in this ever-changing modern world they needed to look at the security of our devices and systems to increase awareness about cyber security. We are empowering our clients to avoid the traps and pitfalls laid out by criminals.

The Stay Safe Online service is unique in offering advice and assistance across Swindon and Wiltshire for those aged over 60 or aged 18-plus with a registered disability.

The Trust fully understands that raising awareness, about computer/tablet/smartphone-based fraud and what to do if you have concerns over your online safety, will help towards preventing and reducing the risk of this type of crime. We know that cyber-crime and fraud can have a demoralising impact, both financially and emotionally, on victims’ lives. The good news is that we can do something about this through education on staying safe online and sharing advice.

In light of the current restrictions on travel, face to face visits or group talks are temporarily not able to take place so the team of police vetted volunteers are committed to continue to provide this service by offering support to eligible people over the phone.

We have had the following feedback from individuals who have had the telephone “consultation”:

“Thank you for your comprehensive information. There is plenty to digest and implement. Happily, you confirmed I was doing some things appropriately but also you identified a number of “doors” I have to secure. All most helpful & much appreciated. Malcolm Hodgson”

“The telephone call with The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust volunteer went extremely well and I found it very reassuring. I could thoroughly recommend the Stay Safe Online service. I am self-isolating and normally ask one of my children to do online ordering for me. However, after my telephone call I was confident enough to place orders online myself. Alison Roberts”

Trust director, Jennie Shaw, said: “ In 2016 , the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police, one of the Trustees  of The  Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust, highlighted the fastest growing crime in the county was cyber-crime and, as always, it was the older and most vulnerable who were particularly targeted. The Trust is uniquely positioned to support such people as we already had an excellent reputation within that group in our community. After a year of investigating what was needed in the county Stay Safe Online was launched across Wiltshire and Swindon. I am so pleased that in this difficult time we are able to offer real help and advice to the community via the telephone. I am so proud of the whole team for their ongoing commitment.”

To access the service for free advice please email: bv.onlinesafety@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk or call 01380 861191.

Further information is on our website: www.wiltshirebobbyvan.org.uk

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