E-crime victim charity to close

Perry – whose experience dates back the internet of the 1980s, when she worked in public relations at Commodore Computers, the company behind the Amiga – set up the charity to offer advice on resolving a wide range of online problems, says the plan is to close the operation on September 15.

"Having worked with thousands of victims, I can say that the advice and expertise E-Victims.org offered is needed more than ever. But although the demand for advice and support has increased substantially over the last few years, we have not been able to secure the ongoing funding needed to continue to run the charity", she said.

According to Perry, the charity was set up three years ago because internet users didn't know which enforcement and support organisations were available to deal with their e-crime, e-commerce and anti-social behaviour issues.

But then, she says, it emerged that many of those organisations did not have sufficient expertise to give good advice on internet related issues. As a result, several of the UK's biggest agencies either use the advice E-Victims.org has produced, or refers people to them.

Electronic crime, she went on to say, is the fastest growing area of crime and everyone seems to know someone who has had problems online.

"The need for e-crime victim support is great, but the funding from the government and the internet industry is negligible. It would help enormously if existing support charities became more internet aware. For example, domestic violence support groups need advice on how to keep ex-partners from stalking their victims via the internet", she added.

Commenting on the charity's closure, Howard Lamb from the Federation Against Copyright Theft - and an ex-member of the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit - said that E-Victims.org will be sadly missed.

"They have made a huge effort to assist individuals who have been a victim in the e-world. I have directed people to E-Victims.org and they have all received sound advice that is not available elsewhere", he said.

Back at her Nottingham HQ meanwhile, Perry said that E-Victims.Org has developed a wealth of expertise and experience by working with victims and a range of other support and enforcement agencies.

"It is with great regret that we can't continue to develop the web site, and this knowledge may be lost", she said.

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