A new electronic crime survey is aiming to help pull the plug on cyber criminals targeting South Tyneside businesses.
The borough’s business bosses are being asked to share details of their brushes with online fraudsters.
They will also be questioned on how they are defending themselves – and what extra advice they need from law enforcement agencies.
The survey is part of a collaboration between the North East’s three Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Dame Vera Baird, Northumbria’s PCC, said “We will use the information to put in place a series of events, booklets and online tools that will make a real difference in the battle to avoid fraudulent online activity.”
Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner, added: “Over 50 percent of crime is conducted online these days.
“This survey will only take a few minutes to complete and will really help the police to understand how best we can work with businesses”.
Dr Joanna Berry, Chair of the North East branch of the Institute of Directors, supported the survey.
She said: “It’s extremely important that local businesses understand the dangers of cybercrime, and take steps to avoid it.
“I am really looking forward to the results of this survey, and to working with the three Police and Crime Commissioners to develop new ways to help businesses to avoid fraud.”
The survey is being circulated online to members of the FSB, IoD and to other business representative organisations.
The deadline for returns is Friday, September 8.
Advice and support to businesses around cybercrime, or to report fraud, is available through the Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Police can also be contacted on 101.