Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has today reacted to reports that Orcadians lost £350,000 through online and phone crime in 2018.
On the back of these reports, Mr McArthur lodged parliamentary questions to the Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf MSP asking what discussions have taken place with Police Scotland about how this problem can be tackled.
In his response, Mr Yousaf said that the Scottish Government “work with a range of partners” in order to minimise the harm caused by criminals. While conceding that “this is an operational matter for Police Scotland”, the Justice Secretary said that there are a “range of advice” services available to help people improve their online and telephone safety.
Commenting on the issue Mr McArthur said:
“For some time now, we have known that so-called ‘nuisance’ calls and emails are more than just a nuisance. They represent a real risk, particularly where they involve attempts to scam or cheat people into handing over money or access to their bank details.
“Of course, the biggest risk is often faced by more vulnerable people within our community but these latest figures show the scale of the problem extends much more widely.
“For a community the size of Orkney, the loss of around £350,000 through online or phone crime is a staggering figure. In comparison to other parts of the country, this figure is also relatively high.
“I welcome the Justice Secretary’s confirmation that this issue is taken seriously and that government is working with a range of partners to help support the efforts of Police Scotland in tackling the problem I would encourage constituents to remain vigilant, contact the police or Trading Standards if they have any concerns and take advantage of the advice services that are available, including Take 5 to Stop Fraud and Get Safe Online.”
Notes to editors: you can see the PQ lodged and answer here.