Newspapers across the country have published a series of stories about the dangers of cyber crime following a project by a regional publisher’s central investigations team.
Johnston Press titles across the UK have splashed on findings relevant to their patch from the investigations unit, which submitted hundreds of Freedom of Information requests to NHS hospital trusts, public bodies, police forces and universities to find out how they have been affected.
Members of the unit also spoke to the real life victims of those affected by cyber crime, as well as experts on cyber crime’s evolution.
Some areas of the UK have seen as much as a six-fold increase in cyber crime, and the team investigated areas such as romance fraud, cyber crime and terrorism, identity theft and The Dark Web.
Aasma Day, lead reporter for the Johnston Press Investigations Unit, who is based at the Lancashire Post in Preston, said: “The unit decided to investigate the issue of cyber crime as we realised it is a massively growing area of crime which affects so many people on a daily basis in its various forms.
“While the Internet has opened up a whole new world for people and technology allows us to keep in touch with people and organise our lives, it is also used for evil gain by criminals.
“There are many different ways criminals use technology to defraud and exploit people and the Johnston Press Investigations team delved into some of the many strands of cyber crime as well as looking into cyber attacks against businesses and organisations.”
The series has been widely used across Johnston Press in many daily and weekly titles this week, as well as being covered extensively by the national title the i.
Aasma said the unit was “grateful” to editors across the group for supporting its investigation.
She added: “All the members of the Johnston Press Investigations Team worked extremely hard on this series on top of their normal jobs and went the extra mile to uncover some shocking and startling material surrounding cyber crime and I feel very proud to be working within such a dedicated team.
“The unit’s work proves what can be achieved by pooling resources and working together to uncover stories that may otherwise go under the radar.”