Skip to content

Top award for tackling cybercrime in Derbyshire

7 February 2024

Her work helping combat cybercrime in Derbyshire has earned one of our senior community safety officers national recognition.

Tracy Coates is presented with a commendation by Nik Adams, temporary assistant commissioner, NPCC

Tracy Coates was commended by the National Police Chief's Council for creating the Cyber Choices Toolkit which helps professionals in Derbyshire identify people at risk of becoming involved in cybercrime.

The toolkit is now being rolled out across the East Midlands to help combat cybercrime in the region.

Tracy worked with the regional Cybercrime Team at East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) to develop the toolkit which helps partners spot the signs of someone potentially getting involved in cybercrime.

It also helps raise awareness of the Cyber Choices intervention programme, co-ordinated by the National Crime Agency, which works with young or vulnerable people who may be on the cusp of cyber criminality to help them understand the consequences of their behaviour.

Since the toolkit's launch in March last year, there's been an increase in referrals to the scheme in Derbyshire which helps divert people from cybercrime.

Tracy, who has worked for the county council as a community safety officer for 19 years, had the idea of producing the toolkit as a way of demystifying cybercrime and reassuring professionals they didn't need to understand technical terms.

"It's about spotting everyday signs that could indicate a person is at greater risk of being vulnerable to their cyber skills being exploited by cyber criminals"

explained Tracy.

Signs could include:

  • having a deep interest in technology
  • focusing on negative role models
  • getting satisfaction out of solving difficult problems and completing a challenge

Tracy added:

"In community safety it's our job is to work with partners to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and while most of my work is behind the scenes, rather than directly with members of the public, I'm delighted it's been recognised in this way.

"As with all my work, it's a partnership effort and I couldn't have produced the Cyber Choices Toolkit without the support of the police regional cybercrime team, who have the links to the National Cyber Choices Programme."

This is the second time Tracy has won a national accolade for her work on the toolkit. In September 2023 she was also one of the finalists nominated for the Commissioner's Choice Award at the National Cyber Awards 2023.

Find more information about the Cyber Choices Toolkit.